Neighbors help Lely couple who lost house in fire

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Remains from Filomena and James Poole’s home in Lely house fire – Photo by WINK News.

Ashes are all that’s left of a couple’s home after a house fire. Filomena and James Poole lost everything nine days ago in Collier County. After WINK News’ original story aired, generous people with big hearts decided to help them.

Neighbors in Lely are doing what they can to help out the Pooles in their time of need Friday.

“It’s just amazing I can’t stop saying it enough,” Filomena said. “It’s amazing.”

Filomena feels blessed to have neighbors and complete strangers step up to provide outreach to her and her husband.

“Our friends are coming with clothes, pots and pans, saved up a coffee maker here,” Filomena said.

Filomena and James didn’t have anywhere to go, so neighbor Amanda Bowerman brought them into her family’s home. Bowerman believes this was a way to give back.

“When I was 17, somebody took me in,” Bowerman said. “I didn’t have a good childhood and older couple who the Lord lead to take people in, and they took me, and it has impacted me powerfully.”

Filomena said her thanks can only go so are, but it means everything.

“The gratitude … my husband and I are experiencing is just a level that I didn’t even think I could reach,” Filomena said.

The Bowermans even found the Pooles a mobile home and will be moving it onto their property until they can back on their feet.

“The Bowermans are so beautiful,” Filomena said. “Their hearts are gold.”

The Pooles refuse to the let the devastating fire get them down. In fact, their love is only growing stronger. They have decided to renew their vows.

“And our love for each other has never died,” James said. “It has improved 100 fold’s times 100, and that’s why I proposed to her.”

The Bowerman family owns Big Island Builders, and they put in a new staircase for the Pooles just hours before the fire. The Pooles said they would have never made it out of their home alive if they didn’t have the sturdy new stairs there.

“[James] said, ‘We started out with nothing; we’ll start over with nothing,’” Filomena said. “I said this time we have land. He said, ‘I’m marrying him for his land.’ Well, he’s just being silly.”


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