Aberdeen community members are rallying behind a beloved bus driver who lost her belongings in a house fire last week.
Janeice Faison, a long-time driver for the Harford County school system, is described as “our cheerleader, our honesty, and our safety when on the road an inside our schools,” as stated on the GoFundMe page that was created on Jan. 10 in her honor.
The fundraiser aims to collect $5,000 to help Faison “reclaim her life” after a fire damaged her unit of a Havre de Grace duplex on Fountain Street. The crowdfunding page had raised more than $3,747 from 98 people as of Monday morning, with several community members offering to donate clothing, furniture and even prayers.
Faison is known for her commitment to students and her enthusiasm while bussing Aberdeen High School’s sports teams, the high school where her son attended.
“Her kids went here and she does a lot of our athletic events,” said Mike O’Brien, Aberdeen High School’s principal. “She’s very well-known and well-loved with our school.”
According to Deputy Oliver Alkire of the Maryland State Fire Marshal’s Office, the blaze began in the rear bedroom of the home at around 5:56 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 7. Members of the Susquehanna Hose Company, located right across the street from Faison’s home, smelled and saw smoke and responded immediately. Firefighters were able to contain the flames to the back bedroom and extinguished it within minutes.
No one was home at the time, but a dog died in the fire, according to Alkire. The other half of the duplex wasn't damaged, and the fire is still under investigation.
Alkire says the home sustained extensive smoke and soot damage estimated at $25,000. It's a burden Faison's friends and family hope to lift.
“She’s just so wonderful here,” Principal O’Brien said. “We’ve been doing everything we can to advertise the GoFundMe page. I don’t think she took a day off work.”