Kathy Pritchett doesn't cry about the things she lost in a house fire Monday.
Her tears come as she longs to bring her family of 12 still living at home back together under one roof.
"I need a place for my family," Pritchett said Wednesday as some of her 16 children huddled on Camp Joycliff Road in the unseasonably cold breeze.
She and her husband, John, started out with two children of their own and have been adding dozens of foster children since 1990.
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The Jones County couple adopted 14 along the way and just received another newborn to foster.
John Pritchett, 62, is recovering from neck surgery, but he had made meatloaf, mashed potatoes and banana bread that was waiting for his wife and one of their four daughters when they returned from shopping late Monday afternoon.
As they sat down to eat supper with nine of their children, Kathy smelled what she thought was a crayon melting in the fireplace, which had been going all day to keep the late winter chill away.
John went outside and found smoke pouring out the side of the chimney near 16-year-old Lizzie's room upstairs.
They tried to put it out with a fire extinguisher as Kathy called 911, grabbed the baby and some of the infant's clothes.
"It's too late," she thought as they scrambled to grab what they could and get out.
The flames that ignited on the second floor with a breach in their chimney were whipped by 30- to 40-mph winds, Jones County Fire Chief Don Graham said.
"It was a huge fire," Graham said Wednesday. "The second floor was fully involved when I got there."
Timmy, the 14-year-old autistic son the Pritchetts have raised since he was 18 hours old, was inconsolable.
"He was screaming for about 30 minutes," his mother said.
His father kept trying to lock eyes with him and tell him everything would be OK.
Flames were devouring Timmy's prized bucket of "Star Wars" figures and Legos.
"He lost all of that. He was screaming," Kathy Pritchett said. "That's his life. He plays with them constantly."
All the children got safely out, including a handicapped child with mobility issues, but some of the family's menagerie of pets were missing.
The Pritchetts make sure each of their children has their own animal to love and care for, which includes a potbelly pig, an aging cat, chickens and several dogs.
"It teaches them. Animals respond to them and they don't judge them or nothing," John Pritchett said.
Luke the dachshund and Sammy the 16-year-old hearing-impaired cat were nowhere to be found as the family watched the top half of the house burn.
Four fire engine companies battled the blaze for about 40 minutes.
Firefighters were able to save some furniture on the first floor, but there's plenty of smoke and water damage throughout the house.
Once the flames were out, the search began for the pets.
They found Luke under a bookshelf in a downstairs bedroom closet painted to look like a castle.
He checked out OK at the vet, Lee Pritchett said.
It wasn't until Tuesday night that Sammy showed up.
"Where was she at?" Trevor Pritchett asked his older brother, Lee.
"Under the house," he replied. "She came out. She was probably hungry."
With wide eyes and dirty fur, Sammy nibbled at a bowl of food in the front yard.
The family's koi fish died when the electricity had to be cut off, shutting off the oxygen pump in the pond outside. Several tropical fish in the foyer also died as embers crashed down on the tank from the upper floor.
"Even that's sad," Kathy said. "You walk by and you know they suffered."
The foster infant is now in temporary care, and Timmy is with his aunt as the rest of the family is staying in a hotel, thanks to the American Red Cross.
"There are bags all over the motel and toothbrushes all over," Kathy said. "We can't even keep our toothbrushes straight because they're all new ones."
Kathy's been told that there's no way they'll find a temporary place that will accept all the dogs.
"Then we're not going," she said.
Friends have taken in some of their pets, but Kathy and John know how important the companion animals are to their children, especially now that they've lost so much in the fire.
"We're going to do what we can to put this family back together," she said.
Her phone has been lighting up all day and night with offers to help.
Bags of clothes have been donated, and they really value food gift cards they can use until they can get back into their own kitchen.
Even while the fire was still raging, dozens of cars pulled up along their circular street off Joycliff Road in the south part of the county.
"This whole road, both sides, was filled up with cars that day and the fire was still burning," John Pritchett said. "Not just to gawk at the fire. They wanted to see what they could do to help."
Friends showed up with boxes and salvaged belongings that were stacked around the family's motor home. The younger kids were trying to keep warm in the RV Wednesday morning as their parents met with an insurance adjuster.
A neighbor has set up a gofundme page to help them manage until they can rebuild.
Others show up with cash, including 32-year-old Cassy Bicht, who is part of the family.
The Pritchetts fostered Bicht's young children until she could get her act together.
"They mean the world to me," Bicht said of the Pritchetts. "They stepped up and took my children in and loved them as their own until basically I could become the mother my children needed and deserved."
She is grateful that others are coming forward to help a couple who have devoted their lives to helping others without ever asking for anything in return.
Graham also has been touched by the generosity of his county.
"It actually warms my heart that people cared that much in my community," Graham said. "It was heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time."
Kathy Pritchett has a difficult time driving up to the family home that is now charred ruins, but is thankful.
Family members realize they were lucky the chimney fire didn't start when the kids were in bed.
"If it happened during the night, it would have killed somebody," she said.
They have faith that God will restore what they've lost.
"He'll give it back tenfold," Kathy said.
Aside from needing their home rebuilt, John Pritchett covets prayers.
"When people ask me and say 'What do you need?' I don't know what to tell them. Every time I turn around when I need it, it happens. It just happens," he said. "I've been a Christian a long time and I've never seen God show hisself as he has through this."