On the evening of Sept. 4, Sean Matthews got down on one knee and asked Kellie Stanley to marry him. The proposal happened right outside their casa in Fuquay-Varina, N.C.
“I knew we wouldn’t be back at the house again for months and months, if not a year,” Matthews told Fox News in a phone interview.
He went on, “Having her family there and some friends and neighbors, I knew it would be the last time that we would all be able to be at our home for a long time. I felt strongly that I wanted to leave with her as my fiancée.”
Stanley said she hadn’t expected a marriage proposal considering the circumstance they were in. It had been five or six hours after the blaze took hold of their home and fire marshals had cleared the scene at the end of the night.
“Sean just gathered us all in the driveway at the end of the night to give a speech and thank everyone for being there for us. As he’s giving the speech, in my head I’m trying to think of what I’m going to say,” Stanley recalled. “Ma, then the entire conversation shifted, and he just started talking about how we started and how we built this house last year.”
Lei ha continuato, “We moved in and his whole goal – which I hadn’t known at the time – but his whole goal was to propose to me in the house because the house means a lot to us.”
All'inizio della giornata, Matthews and Stanley had decided to go out for dinner. In giro 6:30 p.m. they received a Ring doorbell video call from a frantic neighbor, who said their front porch was on fire.
Matthews and Stanley rushed home from their destination, which was about 10 per 15 minutes away, while neighbors worked to rescue their 13-year-old dog Memphis and cut off gas lines to prevent a potential explosion.
Stanley believes they were lucky to not have locked the interior door in their garage that day because it helped neighbors to get Memphis out unharmed. The garage code also worked despite the fire, which allowed for a swift and efficient rescue.
From other security cameras they had stationed in the area, Matthews and Stanley were able to see how so many members of their community stepped up and tried to battle the blaze with garden hoses until firefighters got there.
“Just seeing that our neighbors came together to try and save our home and save our dog, you can’t put it into words,” Stanley said. “We were probably 10 minutes from home and we could see the black billowing smoke in the air.”
When the fire was put out, Matthews and Stanley were allowed to enter so they could retrieve anything that was salvageable.
Matthews recovered the engagement ring he kept in their fireproof safe and Stanley found her bible was one of the few items to survive the fire.
“We might’ve lost the house but we left with Memphis, and that meant more to us. I wanted to make the best of things and see the silver lining,” Matthews said. “And it is a humbling experience to leave your home with essentially a car and the clothes that you’re wearing.”