IRVING – An Irving woman escaped a fire in her home but lost a major charity project meant to help impoverished African women.
Tara Smith awoke to the sound of her smoke alarm at her house on Proctor Street Wednesday morning. She found flames shooting through a vent in her living room, which quickly spread through the home.
Smith heads a nonprofit and had just returned from Cameroon, Africa with thousands of dollars worth of lingerie handmade by villagers. She was going to sell the clothing and donate the money to them.
The inventory was all destroyed.
“I just flew in today with all of the merchandise,” Smith said outside her home. “We’ve been working for over a year to get here, to make reality.”
Investigators have ruled the fire accidental. The Irving Fire Department says combustibles were kept too close to the floor furnace.