The Transylvania Times -

By Matt McGregor
Staff Writer 

Anonymous Couple Buys A Camper For Fire Victims

 

February 14, 2019

Courtesy Photo

Josh and Stephanie Flood stand beside their new home.

A charitable couple who wish to remain anonymous has donated a travel-camper to the newly wed Josh and Stephanie Flood, who lost their old camper in a fire on Jan. 31.

As previously reported, a few days after the fire Josh and Stephanie sat in the Transylvania Regional Hospital, where Josh was being treated for smoke inhalation, distraught and unsure of what was next.

But through a community effort on social media and a local podcast, they are picking themselves back up and dusting off the ashes.

Eddie Sprouse, a residential mortgage loan officer for Lending Path Mortgage in Brevard, said he heard about the incident in The Transylvania Times and on postings on the "We are Brevard" Facebook page.

Sprouse has a podcast called The Eddie Sprouse Team Podcast on which he discusses how people can get home loans.

"But every once in a while, I want to do something in which, like this, I provide a community service," he said.

On the Feb. 5 episode, "Helping a Neighbor in Need," Sprouse had Josh on the podcast.

"The first year Stephanie and I were together we had trouble finding jobs," he said on the podcast. "We didn't have a vehicle, and we had a moped that we rode on. We lived in Pisgah National Forest for a year living in a tent."

They "roughed it out," he said, but they were able to attend church, find jobs and take breaks from the forest and move in and out with friends and family.

"We even lived in a van for a year," he said. "Then we got our income taxes back last year and it was enough for us to buy the camper we were living in. With that camper we were able to stay stable enough to keep jobs and cook meals - enough for us to function like we lived in a home. We were able to have power, television, be able to cook on a stove."

After hearing the podcast, the anonymous couple, whom Sprouse said he knew personally, and he said had been looking for a charitable cause to which to donate, decided to purchase the couple a new travel-camper.

"It's kind of a neat story," Sprouse said. "She got on Craigslist and started looking up campers. She only found two that had phone numbers, and one of them ended up being the camper that they bought. They went all the way to Marshall to fix the camper up. So, they lost their smaller camper and got one much larger, much newer and much nicer."

Sprouse was there for the delivery, and said when the camper came down the highway, he said Josh said, "Oh, it's beautiful."

"I think he may have been expecting something that was ready for a landfill," Sprouse said.

When Sprouse heard the story of the fire, he said it was "heart-wrenching" to see a couple who had very little, lose all.

"It's like, you want to see these people make it," he said. "So many people, I think, when they hear about people squatting in the forest, think the worst. They think they put themselves in that situation, and, sometimes, that's not the truth at all. Sometimes, it's just life."

The anonymous couple had lost their own home to a fire in the 1990s, which is why Sprouse said he thinks they were compelled to donate the camper. He added that the woman said she still smells smoke when she thinks of the fire that took their home, "to this day."

"It was cool to listen to her talk to Josh's wife because she said how angry she was that she lost everything, and the woman told her, 'Look, you can't be angry. It doesn't help to be angry . . . you just need to accept it and know that God is going to take care of you,'" he said. "I thought that was a great way to put it."

Courtesy Photo

Josh and Stephanie Flood's new home stands beside the site of their old camper, which was lost in a fire.

When reached for comment on Tuesday, Josh and Stephanie were moving out of a cabin a friend was letting them stay in, and into their new camper.

"The camper is in the same general area that the other one was in," Josh said. "The only issue we are having right now is we aren't going to run an extension cord to power this one, so I'm looking for a generator to be able to power it. Duke Power wants $1,800, because they've got to come and dig a ditch to run the line to get a service pole put up. As of right now, I'm trying to find a portable generator until I can get my taxes back and afford the $1,800."

Josh said getting the power hooked up and the septic area dug are projects he is going to begin, and then getting back to work.

"Now that we are going home, things are going to start getting better," he said.

 
 

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