Ocoee mom surprised with rebuilt, refurbished home after house fire
Tricon American Homes surprised an Ocoee mom with a rebuilt and refurbished home after it was nearly destroyed in a house fire in March.
| 2:04 p.m. October 31, 2018
West Orange Times & Observer
Chelsie Lloyd threw some laundry into her dryer before giving her sons a bath the evening of March 15. Moments later, she smelled smoke and checked the laundry room — only to see it ablaze.
Lloyd and her two sons, Aiden and Ethan, made it out unscathed, but the fire destroyed the single mother’s home and almost everything in it. Today, the Lloyd family is back home. Tricon American Homes surprised the Lloyd family on Thursday, Oct. 25 with a completely rebuilt and refurbished home.
“We’re so happy to be home. It’s just beautiful. It’s more than I ever expected, and I did not expect to come home to have everything done. …”
“The fire basically came through and destroyed the whole house,” said Nicole Conniff, vice president of marketing & Communications for Tricon American Homes. “Pretty much everything … (in) here is completely new (and) redone.”
Lloyd stayed at a hotel and with family while Tricon American Homes rebuilt the house. She was aware the house was being rebuilt. However, she wasn’t expecting what Tricon had in store for her.
“We’re so happy to be home,” Lloyd said. “It’s just beautiful. It’s more than I ever expected, and I did not expect to come home to have everything done. It was just an amazing surprise for us especially since we’ve been out of the house for so long. We wanted to come home and we’re happy to come home.”
The roof of the home has been replaced, and the kitchen features new cabinets, countertops and a new refrigerator. The walls are covered with a fresh coat of paint and adorned with framed photos of the Lloyds and other décor to make the house feel more like a home. The backyard has new fencing and sod. New couches and other furnishings are set up in the living room, and the bedrooms feature new beds. The boys’ room even has a bunk bed — Ethan called the top bunk.
“She has a brand-new bathroom as well, (and) new tile floors,” Conniff said. “It’s like a model home. ... This is a gift to her.”
Kristine Blasko, Tricon’s director of property management for Florida, said Lloyd has been a Tricon resident for four years. She said their first priority after the fire was the Lloyd family’s safety.
“We were in immediate contact with Chelsie to make sure her and her children were safe — that was our main focus — and that she had somewhere to go,” Blasko said. “She has family in the local area, so she was able to stay with them for a short period of time.”
Blasko added that this gift to the Lloyd family is just one example of how much Tricon values its residents.
“At Tricon, our residents are important to us,” she said. “We have a very strong culture in doing what is right. Every single year, we (have) a program where we’re going to do something for one of our residents, and it was perfect timing. It seemed like the right thing to do for Chelsie and her children.
“Our program is called ‘Tricon Thanks,’ and it’s about us thanking our residents,” Conniff said. “We’re in this business because we care about people. … (For Tricon Thanks), we are picking one resident a year, and we’re thanking them in a way that’s special to them or in a way that they need to be helped. She’s our (Tricon Thanks) resident for this year.”
Tricon American Homes owns and operates about 17,000 single-family rental homes in 16 markets throughout the United States. It’s headquartered in Orange County, California.
With the house repaired, Lloyd said her and her sons can now look forward to comfortable nights at home.
“We’ve been extremely blessed,” Lloyd said. “It’s nice to actually get back in the house and have everything. … I don’t want to go anywhere. I just want to enjoy our house. That’s really what we’re looking forward to.”