CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A family is trying to rebuild their home that someone intentionally set on fire. That arson fire happened in the 700 block of Cornelia Circle three weeks ago.
On Sept 22 at 12:32 a.m., Ashley Wilkey was awakened by her son yelling that the house was on fire.
Video recorded by a doorbell security camera at the home led to a later arrest. Everybody inside the home was able to get out with only the clothes on their backs.
"Everything completely gone, it helps you to open your eyes and realize how important family is and just to appreciate any little thing in life." Wilkey said.
They are currently staying with family in Calallen and Wilkey says her kids are adjusting.
"It's really hard to make a dramatic change like this. This is their home, this is what they're used to calling home."
And just like her kids, Ashley grew up in the Cornelia Circle home and it is full of memories. That's exactly why she wants to rebuild the house she has lived in for so long.
"I can't just turn around and walk away even though it's completely ruined it's completely burned," Wilkey says, "I have to try and do what it takes to rebuild."
She says they have made a lot of progress, clearing out countless loads of sheet rock and debris. All thanks to the kindness of others.
"Volunteers, friends, family, people I didn't know offered to come and help and made this clean up happen."
But there is still a lot of work to be done.
Rod Lewis, the owner of Hardknocks Sports Grill says he wanted to do something to help. He called his friends over at Bad Boyz Tailgaterz and they fired up the grill.
"Knowing Ashley as a customer and as a friend, it was very heavy on my heart." Lewis said, "I just wanted the opportunity to help her as a mom and her three children to find a place to live, to be able survive, to support her kids as they're trying to rebuild their home."
BBQ plates were sold for $10 a piece and all of the proceeds went to Ashley and her family.
"We've had people drive up and say 'hey, we don't care about the plate, we just want to donate some money.' It's just such a giving community we have here in Corpus Christi. I'm glad to be a part of it." Lewis said.
"Just to know that there's nice people out there that have a heart to come and help knowing the situation, it's very sweet." Wilkey said.
If you would like to help Ashley and her family, you can do so here.