Alabama Fire Destroys House of Family Who Lost Their Previous Home in Tornado

An Alabama family who survived a tornado in 2019 have seen their new home rendered unlivable by a house fire that took place on Tuesday and has forced the couple and their children to move out.

Reedy and Amy Long and their three young children were not at home at the time of the fire as they were spending Easter with family, according to WRBL. Their children are 10-year-old Tucker, 7-year-old Machaiah and a toddler named Owen.

The Longs had lost their previous home during the 2019 tornado outbreak that devastated the area from Beauregard through Smiths Station in Alabama—largely rural communities—as well as Talbotton, Georgia.

The family had a mobile home in Beauregard which was destroyed by the tornado. More tragically, they also lost their 12-year-old cousin Taylor Thornton in the weather event.

The Longs relocated to a rented home in Opelika on West Point Parkway, but they are now forced to find alternative accommodation.

"The fire started about 5:30 in the morning in the attic," said Bob Parsons, Fire Inspector with Opelika Fire Department.

"It's structurally unlivable; the family has no choice but to move out. Nobody got hurt or anything, but it's still just another blow to this young family who is trying to make a life for themselves."

Large sections of the house suffered fire and water damage, including the kitchen, bathrooms and the hallway, while holes were left in the roof. Machaiah's room experienced damage from water and soot and most of her belongings are now damaged.

"She cried, and then she said, 'I'm just so happy my family is OK,' and that is all she was worried about," her mother, Amy Long, told WRBL.

Long also discussed the loss of the family's original home in 2019, telling the local news outlet: "There was nothing. Just nothing. The trailer's frame was wrapped around a tree. The only thing that was left was the steps."

Despite their difficulties, the family seems determined to pick themselves up again.

"We have to find the strength," Long said. "We have kids, and they fully depend on us. I hate it for the kids not to have a place to call home. That is the hardest thing. They are so selfless, and they don't deserve to go through this twice."

The 2019 Beauregard-Smiths Station tornado had estimated maximum wind speeds of 170 miles per hour and caused 23 fatalities and 90 injuries, according to the National Weather Service.

A Home Damaged by the 2019 Tornadoes
A home sits upside down after the area was destroyed by a tornado touchdown in March, 2019 in Beauregard, Alabama. One family who lost their home at the time have now suffered a house fire. Alex Wong/Getty Images