10-year-old treated to shopping spree after losing everything in fire

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Your life can change in a matter of moments.

One 10-year-old learned that the hard way when the home she shared with her mother caught fire two weeks ago.

9 On Your Side has her story and how some familiar pals stepped in to help.

On September 6, 10-year-old Alyssa Newsome’s life changed forever.

“Her apartment’s building caught on fire and she lost everything,” said Officer Keith Garner, Greenville Police Dept.

Alyssa’s home, an apartment on Merry Lane in Greenville, caught fire while she was grocery shopping with her mom. When the pair returned home, everything was gone.

The fire was ruled accidental. And Alyssa’s mom did not have renter’s insurance.

Officers with the Greenville Police Department knew Alyssa from the Police Athletic League (PAL) program and stepped in to help.

Days after the fire, Alyssa was taken on a shopping spree.

“We surprised her,” said Garner. “We had a couple of officers there and she was just excited to see us.”

“We just felt like we really needed to do something for her,” commented Lt. Mike Broadwell, Greenville Police Dept. “The shopping trip was the perfect opportunity. She told us that she literally only had the clothes on her back.”

9 On Your Side got a chance to sit down with Alyssa. She explained what happened.

“What did you have left after the fire,” 9 On Your Side asked.

“I had nothing,” answered Alyssa Newsome, fire victim.

After a quick tour of the WNCT-TV 9 On Your Side studios, she explained what the shopping trip meant to her, “It made me feel like people cared about me.”

So new outfits, uniforms for school, and even some new socks went a long way for her. And she showed her appreciation for everything.

“Even during the shopping trip, she was so humble and appreciative of everything we got her,” said Broadwell.

The officers involved said they were motivated to give back to this little girl, and would do it again without question.

“We strap up our boots every day, put on this uniform every day, to do our job,” said Garner. “But at the same time, we do have a heart and we are people as well.”

Alyssa’s home was a total loss, but the community, family, and friends have stepped up big time to help the family rebuild their lives.

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