BLUFFTON, Sc. (WSAV) – Wednesday night’s lightning storm in the Lowcountry did quite a bit of damage as it came across an open pond area in the Pinecrest neighborhood right into Greg Cherewko’s house and instantly set it on fire.
“Probably about 10 minutes prior to the blast, I was sitting right in this chair, right in the window,” said Cherewko, “I decided I had to get up and go to the store to pick up dinner.”
His 12-year-old daughter, Grace, was inside with the family dogs.
“She had gathered the dogs, with the assistance of the neighbor right across the street, had grabbed them and ran out of the house to safety and called 9-1-1,” he said.
The Cherewko family lived in that house for seven years after moving to Bluffton from Baltimore, and the past year hasn’t been easy.
“June of last year, my wife passed away after a 10-year battle with cancer so it’s been a rough year for the family,” Cherewko said, “Three girls… It’s been a little about 14 months since they lost their mom and you know they, they’re just strong kids. It’s, to go through this, this is nothing for them.”
And after it all. Cherewko says there’s no place he’d rather be than here in Bluffton.
“From the onset of my wife’s diagnosis… just the way the community’s reached out and now with this incident, I mean I can’t even begin to describe… just the love that you get from here,” he said, “I guess everybody says that about their town, but I really think that Bluffton is something special, that we just have people that care.”
He stands in front of his house today and thinks…
“How things could have happened, I mean 10 minutes prior I was sitting in that room. My daughter who normally would have gone to the store with me, had she went to the store with me—would have locked the dogs up in the crates which are in that room right there,” Cherewko said, “You count your blessings and not your sorrow here.”
While the structure of the house is still standing, the inside is pretty damaged. The Bluffton community created a GoFundMe page to support the family.