DAVIE, FLA. (WSVN) - A retired Davie woman described as the neighbor everyone in her community leans on has lost everything, including her beloved dog, to a fire that broke out inside her home of more than four decades.
Davie Fire Rescue units responded to the scene near Southwest 74th Avenue and Orange Drive, Wednesday morning.
Diana Willour believed the fire started in the kitchen but said fire officials couldn’t pinpoint the cause of the fire nor its origin.
The kitchen sustained significant damage, but the fire was contained to the home.
“They said, ‘Do you do candles? Do you do incense?’” Willour said. “I said, ‘No, no, I don’t do anything.’ You know, I don’t drink, smoke, drugs – my whole life. I just help people all the time. It’s all I’ve ever known because I’ve been here 41 years.”
Willour also lost her dog, whom she inherited from her sister after she passed away last year, to the fire from smoke inhalation.
“I kept calling and they said, ‘Maybe she got out,’ and someone came over to me and said that they found her and they did CPR and everything, but they couldn’t revive her,” she said.
Neighbors said Willour is constantly taking care of everyone else but herself.
“You know, it’s hard enough she’s retired, and she’s doing everything on her own, and she helps everybody no matter what. She never says no,” said neighbor Virginia Reasoner. “She helps all the kids in the neighborhood, and she’s just the sweetest person in the world.”
“I moved in next door, and she greeted me with a sandwich,” said neighbor Joseph Bean.
“Whenever I go to work, if I forget to close the gate, she’s right there behind me after I leave, closing the gate for me,” said neighbor Emily Disla.
Wednesday afternoon, Willour showed her damaged ceiling to a 7News crew.
“Look, that stuff could come down on you or something. Look at how it is,” she said.
Willour lives in the house with her adult son, who has mental illness. She also cares for five children.
“I have five grandkids that come over to my house at different times and whatever,” she said. “Sometimes two of them are here, and the other one I watch for the mom.”
“The grandkids aren’t even biologically hers, but she took them in,” said neighbor Sherrie Podder. “You know, a girl who at 16, she didn’t even know that she was pregnant, and gave her a home and then raised all these grandkids.”
Neighbors said Willour also brings out her neighbors’ garbage bins on trash day and even leaves water and drinks for the people coming to pick up the garbage.
Wednesday morning, Willour was at an area hospital helping a friend when, officials said, the fire ignited.
The worst part of Willour’s house going up in flames is that she has no insurance and no money to rebuild.
“She goes paycheck to paycheck, Social Security, no insurance,” said Podder. “I’m shocked that she didn’t, but you’ve got to understand that financially you’re on that budget.”
Neighbors have set up a GoFundMe page to help Willour with expenses.
“Everybody really needs to, more than any woman in the world, to help out. Give what you can,” said Podder.
Neighbors who used to live near Willour have left messages on the GoFundMe page praising Willour.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
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