Community rallies behind Davie woman who lost her home in fire

Businesses help prepare home to escape further damage from effects of Dorian

By Madeleine Wright - Reporter

DAVIE, Fla. - It was an emotional day Saturday for Diana Willour as she salvaged her belongings.

While she was away, a fire gutted her house on ‪Southwest 74th Avenue near Orange Drive in Davie, and she has no insurance.

"You're devastated because I've been at my house for 41 years, and now I don't have it. But I'm going to rebuild, and I'm going to be back," she said. 

Willour's son escaped the Aug. 21 fire, but her dog died.

Her sister said the fire may have stemmed from an electrical outlet, but the cause is unknown.

"I left here at 4 in the morning, and when I left at 4, nothing was wrong, and when I came back, they said, 'Oh, I think your house is on fire,'" Willour said. 

Willour is not alone in her struggle.

Juan Matos, the president of Disaster Services, brought out his team to clean up the damage.

"As far as the cost, if this had been an insurance job, we normally charge anywhere from $40,000 to $50,000. I'm talking about the entire work that we’re doing," Matos said. 

That entire work included hauling away the damaged property in a dump truck, working with another company to put a tarp on the roof and boarding up the windows, all of which should prevent further damage from any effects of Hurricane Dorian.

"Sometimes you just gotta give back. It's not always business. I believe in paying it forward," Matos said. 

Willour is known as a model neighbor, one who always has a friendly greeting, keeps an eye on crime and feeds the stray cats.

"My house in Dania Beach got destroyed in Hurricane Wilma, and Diana was there for me," Willour's sister, Jean Berg, said. "Our whole life, Diana has always helped everybody else. She's never done anything for herself. And to have something like this happen to Diana, it's just, it hurts me a lot."

Neighbors felt the same pain and set up a GoFundMe page for her, which has already raised more than $18,000.

"Everybody's been very good, and everybody's helped. And now I just need more help," Willour said. 

Willour is staying at a hotel and at a friend's house until she gets back on her feet.

It'll be a long road to recovery as she rebuilds her life but one made a little easier thanks to the community's support. 

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