The home of Dr. Floyd and Fay Falany was struck by lighting in a severe storm that swept across Cherokee County on Aug. 20.
Falany, who is well known in the community for his past tenure as president of Reinhardt College, said the fire damaged the entire home.
"There's not much left," he said. "The kitchen looks like it exploded."
The couple was headed back home from Cartersville when the fire began. Falany said his son-in-law, who lives nearby, was the first to spot the fire and immediately called for assistance.
Falany said when he and his wife arrived on the scene, firefighters from Cherokee County Fire and Emergency Services were kind and understanding.
"Those guys did a great job," he said. "They couldn't have been more sensitive."
The home suffered from water and fire damage and the Falanys lost all of their clothes. Mrs. Falany was able to retrieve her mother's rings and Falany said a file cabinet and its contents were spared.
His mementos related to his tenure at Reinhardt were in the basement, which was flooded with water.
Along with Reinhardt mementos, Falany said the basement also housed nearly 150 recognitions he's received over the course of his life as well as his dissertation and his doctoral robe.
Falany served as Reinhardt's president from 1984 to 1999. His wife, Fay, is known as the former "first lady" of Reinhardt. The college's performing arts center on its Waleska campus was named in their honor.
Following the fire, the Falanys initially stayed with their daughter, Dr. Angie Falany, who lives nearby, but since have moved into their motor home, which was on their property but not damaged by the fire.
They are working with the telephone company to get a landline phone hooked up inside the motor home.
The couple also has met with Southeast Restoration to assess the damage to the house.
The 4,500, three-bedroom, two-bathroom home had heavy smoke, heat and water damage throughout, said Benny Carter, business development official with the company.
"There's also heavy burn damage in the kitchen," he said, adding that looks like where lightning struck the house.
Carter said the Falanys may end up "gutting" the home, rebuilding the interior and possibly replacing the windows, doors, lights and repainting.
Southeast has not yet determined the cost of the project.
Falany said he's determined to rebuild his home, noting a it may take between six and eight months to do so.
The community, he said, has stood behind them and offered support.
"It has been overwhelming," he said of the outpouring. "I thought everyone had forgotten about us."
Falany said he's received help from people as far as Cobb County and Atlanta.
He also said he's had at least 12 families extend an offer to house them as long as they needed.
"Those of us who know and love Dr. Falany and Fay are staying in touch and are doing what is needed now and we'll continue in the future," said JoEllen Wilson, vice president for institutional advancement and external affairs at Reinhardt.
The Falanys said they are grateful for the support they've received and will continue to rely on their Christian faith to get through the tragedy.
"We're blessed, and we're not sad," he said. "We'll rebound."