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Polk County community rallies around single mother after house fire

Posted at 4:56 PM, Dec 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-31 17:38:36-05

MULBERRY, Fla. — A Polk County community is rallying around a single mother after a house fire.

Brianna Sutton woke up to her Mulberry home on fire. She only had time to grab a few of her four-year-old’s drawings, her daughter’s blanket and stuffed animal before running out of the flame-filled home.

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“I got up and I opened the door and the whole living room was on fire. The couch was on fire,” Sutton said.

She wasn’t sure if it was real at the time as she was half asleep.

After hanging up on 911, in disbelief, she called back. Sutton’s home was destroyed in less than 15 minutes.

This all happening in late October, before the upcoming holiday season.

“Everything I worked my whole life for. Everything my daughter had when she was little, everything I had when I was little it’s all gone,” she said.

While life may have seemed like it was coming to a screeching halt at the end of 2019, Sutton persevered with help from strangers. They are now her friends.

“A lot more than I realized that is for sure,” she said.

Scott Hartman, a man she barely knew, organized support for her. The group included 29 other men and women who helped Sutton gut her home.

Food, gift cards, clothing and more have also been offered to Sutton and her daughter.

“It has been mind blowing to see the community rally around this little single mom,” Sutton said.

But most of all, Hartman tells ABC Action News it’s been Sutton’s attitude through it all that he believes has guided her through the toughest season of her life.

“Her attitude through all of this. I don’t know how she has stayed as positive with such a tremendous loss,” he said.

If you’d like to help Sutton and her family, a GoFundMe has been set up through community members.