Fire displaces Millsboro family, but donations roll in

Once again, the community is rallying to help a local family — this time, a young couple and two children who lost their Millsboro home to a devastating fire this week.

Tyler and Amber Bare are no strangers to community service. She’s a career EMT in Millsboro. He’s a Marine Corps veteran and Millville volunteer firefighter. But after a Nov. 18 fire at their own home, the Bares and their two children were left without a home and much of their possessions, but immediately flooded with community support.

The single-story ranch-style home on Sussex Alley was unoccupied when an electrical fire was reported around 6:30 p.m., said Millsboro EMT Thomas Berry. In the frigid night, several fire companies responded, extinguishing the blaze by 7 p.m.

“At least two rooms burned out, [with] smoke damage throughout house, to everything in the house,” Berry said. He noted that the family pets, including a German shepherd, Labrador retriever and several cats did not survive. The family was offered shelter immediately.

Within hours, social media lit up as people brainstormed ways to help the family. By Wednesday afternoon, people had raised more than $10,000 and begun planning other fundraisers.

“The best thing I can say as far as donations — gift cards are probably the best,” Berry said. “You end up with a zillion clothes, and clothes are great, but you can’t eat them.”

Multiple locations are collecting donations for the family, including Hocker’s Supercenter and G&E grocery stores, where Tyler Bare is an employee.

Gift cards are best, agreed Melissa Hocker. Although the stores were accepting clothing and other items, she said the Bares seem to have many items already. People have been eager to help, she noted.

“My phone and Facebook and text messages have gone off all day long. It’s great — makes you happy with the community you live in,” Hocker said.

“We’re a very tight-knit community,” Berry said.

“Tyler’s one of those people that, in the drop of a hat, wouldn’t hesitate to help you out,” said Hocker, remembering him assisting her with a flat tire and getting locked out of the house.

“He’s so humble and appreciative,” she added. “They’re all great.”

Online, people shared stories of the Bares repeatedly coming to the rescue.

“Three years ago, they saved my 3-year-old son from drowning,” Laura Metro Shapiro posted on the Coastal Point’s Facebook page. Amber Bare had helped perform CPR on the boy, who survived, awaking from a coma several days later. “They are salt-of-the-earth, nothing but good people. They deserve all the support they are getting and much more!”

Those looking to make monetary donations to the family can do so online, at