Tribune-Courier General Manager
DRAFFENVILLE – Jason Kimbro and Tabitha Caldwell, along with their six children ranging in age from six months to 11 years, lost the roof over their heads and most of their possessions when fire swept through their home on Frankfort Road in Draffenville last Wednesday. But thanks to the generosity of the community, they will quickly tell you they are anything but down and out.
“This community is unbelievable,” said Caldwell. “You expect to hear from your family and friends when something like this happens, but the sheer magnitude of response from the community has been overwhelming.”
She said after the family’s story aired on WPSD last Thursday her cell phone has not stopped ringing.
“We’ve gotten calls from people wanting to help from Metropolis to South Fulton and as far away as Cadiz and Princeton,” she noted. “It’s just been unbelievable. We can’t say thank you enough.
Kimbro said thanks to the donations the children have plenty of clothes to start back to school, as well as food and other immediate-need items. He says what the family needs now more than anything is “to just be normal again.”
The tragedy has been difficult on the children. Eleven-year-old Kenneth, the couple’s oldest son said, “It hasn’t been pleasant. We lost it all.”
Kenneth will enter the fifth grade at Central Elementary this year.
Seven-year-old Ayden, who underwent open heart surgery to correct an abnormality with an aortic valve just 6 weeks ago, received minor burns to his hand in the incident.
The family had insurance on the home they purchased a little over a year and a half ago and had recently remodeled. Kimbro said an adjuster has already been by for an initial assessment.
“If the insurance comes through we will rebuild,” he said. “This is a perfect spot for the kids. It’s a dead-end street and we know our neighbors. We like it here.”
For now, the family is living with Kimbro’s mother in Hardin.
Kimbro said he wants to extend a special thanks to the firefighters who showed up last Wednesday to extinguish the blaze.
“The home was fully engulfed when they arrived. The heat index was 105 degrees, but they set right in to put out the fire and they’ve been amazing from the start. They have even helped us with the collection of donations. I can never thank them enough. Words just can’t express how I feel about them.”
Firefighters from Palma-Briensburg and Harvey Brewers worked for nearly three hours to put out the fire that broke out in the home’s front bedroom around five o’clock last Wednesday afternoon. The cause of the blaze is under investigation, but initial indications point to an electrical problem.
Anyone still wishing to make a donation to the family may contact Charlotte Prince at The Doors of Mercy Mission at (270) 921-4035.