Returning home after a fire is never easy to do, but for twin girls in Newark, a special surprise was waiting for them.
“I think the girls’ room is even better than it was before the fire,” Steven Amos said of his daughters’ bedroom. “The girls were definitely really happy.”
The 3-year-old girls, Kansas and Madison, were thrilled to find brand new beds and Tinkerbell and Frozen decorations in their room Thursday morning. A fire in the girls’ bedroom March 24 forced the family to move out for more than a week. The new furniture and decorations were donations from Beacon 360 Management, the company that oversees the Amos family’s apartment on Simms Avenue. Kayden, the Amos’ 8-year-old son, also got some new decorations for his bedroom. The employees at Beacon 360 Management did not want to leave him out of the welcome home surprises. Amos’s wife, Cathy, cried when she saw the donations from Beacon 360 Management, which also included an air mattress for her and Steven, who thought they would be spending their first nights back at home sleeping on the floor. Cathy also said the support from St. Francis DePaul was invaluable to the family.
“We weren’t expecting anything except new carpeting,” Amos said. “We’re slowly recuperating” from the fire, he added, but the new furniture and decorations were an exciting gift to come home to.
Malita Scanlan, area manager for the apartment complex, and Tameka Evans coordinated the donations and were busy decorating and setting up furniture most of the day Wednesday to finish before the family returned from a hotel in Heath.
“They’re coming back home, but they are coming back to a new beginning,” Scanlan said Wednesday as she assembled a plastic bed frame for one of the twins. “You’re life can’t be replaced, but those items can,” Evans added.
The two had hoped all signs of the fire would have been erased from the home by the time the family returned. But they couldn’t get rid of everything: The window of the girls’ bedroom needs replacing and is still covered in black tape, so Scanlan and Evans bought Frozen-themed curtains to cover the window.
“Rather than the girls coming home to an empty room … we wanted to give them something to encourage them,” said Epris Curry, of Beacon 360 Management.
Curry said employees did not want the girls dwelling on past mistakes and hoped the gift would encourage them to learn about fire safety.