Community comes to help after a CMS principal, her family ‘lost everything’ in a fire

·2 min read

Days after a fire gutted the home of their school principal, a Charlotte-area community is trying to help her family rebuild their lives.

Shannon Hamilton, principal at Long Creek Elementary School in Huntersville, “lost everything” after a Jan. 25 fire at the family’s home, according to a GoFundMe page set up for them.

No one was hurt in the fire at the two-story home in northeast Charlotte. A heater ignited combustibles in the garage and caused about $55,000 in damages, the Charlotte Fire Department said in a tweet early Wednesday.

Now, Hamilton’s family needs help.

Shannon Hamilton, principal at Long Creek Elementary, lost her home in a fire on Jan. 25, 2022. The school community has helped her family through donations.
Shannon Hamilton, principal at Long Creek Elementary, lost her home in a fire on Jan. 25, 2022. The school community has helped her family through donations.

“She has devoted her life to educating and helping others as well as being a mom of two young boys,” according to the fundraiser page, organized by assistant principal Anika Baker. “Please donate to this worthy cause.”

As of Friday morning, the GoFundMe page for Hamilton’s family has raised nearly 94% of its $10,000 goal. A second fundraiser, organized by Bradley Middle School assistant principal Ashley McKinley, has surpassed its $2,000 goal.

“CMS peers, staff and district leaders express support for Shannon and her family,” Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools spokesman Patrick Smith told the Observer. “There are fundraising and support efforts established and staff who have asked how to help have been provided this information.”

Hamilton’s sons, 4-year-old Rory and 6-month-old Rowan, especially need items, including socks, pants, onesies, pajamas and diapers.

The school is accepting donations and gift cards for the family’s immediate needs, according to a post on Long Creek’s Facebook page.

Item donations can be dropped off at the school.

“Shannon is grateful for everyone’s help,” the Facebook post said.

Long Creek, originally built in 1923, became a creative arts magnet school in 2018. Hamilton, a New York native, joined CMS in 2006. She was named Long Creek’s principal in 2019 after serving as the school’s interim principal in 2018.

Charlotte fire investigators say a heater in the garage ignited some combustibles and damaged a home on Mallard Green Place on Jan. 25, 2022. The home belongs to a Charlotte-Mecklenburg school principal.
Charlotte fire investigators say a heater in the garage ignited some combustibles and damaged a home on Mallard Green Place on Jan. 25, 2022. The home belongs to a Charlotte-Mecklenburg school principal.
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