Sugar refinery burn victim dealing with second tragedy - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Sugar refinery burn victim dealing with second tragedy

The Way family loses everything in a fire The Way family loses everything in a fire

PEMBROKE, GA (WTOC) - Moving on after the Imperial Sugar explosion is already hard enough for those who work inside the plant.  They take each day, one day at a time and work to get their lives back to normal.

However, that's going to be even harder for one burn victim after his home caught on fire destroying almost everything inside.

Tuesday a fire broke out in Stephan Way's home.  One minute everything was fine and the next, firefighters poking out of places the roof used to cover.

Stephan Way explains what he was doing when he realized his home was on fire; "Just cutting the grass and I saw the back of the house on fire. It happened that quick! I happened to look up and the house was on fire."

Way's first concern was making sure 9-year-old Zachary wasn't still inside. Zachary was able to get out on his own and watched with Stephan Way as every they owned was burning.

Stephan's wife, Shelia, wasn't home at the time of the fire.  She was at work, but when she got the call rushed home.  When she arrived all she could see was the smoke and flames.  She could only thing about one thing. "My family, my son, where was he at the time?  Just everything!  Too much has happened," said Shelia Way.

See Shelia's husband, Stephan, was also in the sugar refinery explosion so when she saw this fire it was almost like she was re-living that day all over again. "The same thing goes through your mind. Where are they at and if they're ok."

Once everyone was together in the same spot the worry and panic just seemed to lift. They watched as firefighters finished up realizing there wasn't going to be too much that could be salvaged but instead of focusing on what they didn't have, they focused on what they did have.

"We have each other and that's all we can think about and the wonderful community," said Shelia Way.  

The community that stood behind them once before and the one they're hope will stand behind them again. "If it wasn't for them, the shoulders to lean on, I don't know where we would be," said Shelia Way.  

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

In addition, anyone wanting to help the Way family can do so by donating to a trust fund account set up in Stephan Way's name.  Following the Imperial Sugar explosion the fund was set up at the First Bank of Coastal Georgia, anyone interested in donating to the family can do so through this account.

Reported by: Christy Hutchings, chutchings@wtoc.com

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