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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Carbon family loses everything in fire

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

John and Pam Head's residence, located at 14568 Poplar Street, Carbon, was destroyed by fire Tuesday night. The couple lost everything in the fire. Ivy Jacobs Photo. [Order this photo]
A devastating electrical fire late Tuesday night destroyed a newly remodeled trailer in Carbon.

John and Pam Head told The Brazil Times they narrowly escaped the home they had recently moved into.

"We went to bed at 9:30 p.m., but around 10:30 I woke up choking and coughing," Pam said. "The room was full of smoke and I could see flames down the hallway in the living room."

The couple said they had just enough time to grab their cell phones, a blanket and one of their dogs before they got out of the trailer.

"That's it. There wasn't time to get anything else out," Pam said, and fought back tears when she explained they lost other pets, including another dog, a puppy and two birds in the fire. "Basically, we got out with our lives."

Due to the major remodeling project in the trailer, John said the couple did not have homeowner's insurance.

"This is devastating. We just finished putting down the carpet the other day," John said. "We were going to call the insurance company today."

According to John, the financial devastation doesn't stop there.

"We lost both our vehicles in the fire too," he said, pointing at a burned pickup truck and a heavily scorched SUV parked near the trailer. "There was only $600 left to pay on the truck, but it's of no use now. Everything's gone."

The couple, which is currently staying with a family member who lives across the street, said it was very emotional to watch the fire and wait for help to arrive.

Meanwhile, some Van Buren Volunteer Fire Department firefighters responding to the fire scene in a tanker truck experienced a technical difficulty on the way.

"There was an odd smell in the cab and then flames shot up behind the driver's seat," Van Buren Fire Chief Pete Taylor said. "They used a fire extinguisher to put out the fire. No one was hurt."

Members of Dick Johnson Volunteer Fire Department were immediately dispatched to provide tanker assistance.

Because a trailer can potentially become fully engulfed within seven minutes from the start of a fire, Taylor said, "John and Pam were very lucky."

The couple -- who have helped others in their times of need but never needed any help themselves -- agreed.

"So many people have offered to help us. People we don't even know have called and come by to check on us," Pam told The Brazil Times as tears ran down her cheeks. "It's been so overwhelming to see how people really rise to the occasion and come together during tragic events. There are a lot of good people out there in the community. I can't call everyone and tell them how much we appreciate what they have done for us, but if you could tell them how thankful we really are, that would be wonderful."

Pike Lumber Company officials have agreed to accept donations on behalf of John and Pam Head.

John, who is employed at Pike, wears size 15 shoes, 44x30 pants and 3-4x shirts.

Pam wears size 7 1/2 shoes, 16-18 pants and extra-large shirts. She also lost her eyeglasses during the fire.

For more information about what the family might need or how to drop off donations, contact Leslie Sharton at Pike Lumber Company, 440 West County Road 1450 North, Carbon, at 448-3961.

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If you feel bad for them why the negative comment?

-- Posted by indianamama on Thu, Jan 28, 2010, at 9:04 AM

Certainly I understand time is precious in a fire, but to grab my cell phone while leaving my beloved pets to burn to death. What a horrible way to die. I simply cannot imagine the guilt.

-- Posted by My opinion counts on Thu, Jan 28, 2010, at 9:09 AM

While it is sad their pets were lost, but they had to save themselves also. And a cell phone is helpful to call the fire department. I feel sorry for them. Thank goodness they got out alive.

-- Posted by ckm on Thu, Jan 28, 2010, at 9:59 AM

Crazy how people ALWAYS have something negative to say about something!! It's bad enough not having the time to get everything out that you wanted, including your pets, but to read something so negative on a newspaper comment? Really? I'm sure they feel guilt every day for that, but that's not for YOU to point out to them. It's a horrible thing that happened, and I am praying for them!

-- Posted by tsl2010 on Thu, Jan 28, 2010, at 10:11 AM

What may help this family get over the grief of losing their remaining pets is that they probably died of smoke inhalation by the time these good folks woke up themselves. And thank Heavens they woke up!

What needs to happen, is we - as a community - should help this family by donating clothing, used furniture and anything we have extra to make this loss a bit less tragic.

-- Posted by Emmes on Thu, Jan 28, 2010, at 10:42 AM

People I know Pam well enough that the loss of these pets are like lossing her children.

I know in our hearts we think. How could they not get all of their pets out. When maybe we should be glad it wasn't us that had to make that kind of decision.

I have never delte with that kind of loss and I pray I never do.

Pam and John have been thru alot in the last 6 months so let's all keep them in our prayers. And lift them up as people in need of support.

-- Posted by Cardonia Redneck on Thu, Jan 28, 2010, at 11:08 AM

To My Opinion Counts- Do you know if they were able to access their pets through the fire? There may have been a fire barrier between them. Who are you to judge what someone does or doesn't do in a time of a life or death situation? My prayers are with this family.

-- Posted by LittleSisSam on Thu, Jan 28, 2010, at 12:31 PM

LittleSisSam...No I do not know if there was a fire barrier and neither do you. I'm not judging them or the horrible consequences of the fire. I would not wish that on anyone. I merely expressed my opinion, like everyone has a right to do. I simply stated that I would have a difficult time dealing with the guilt of the situation, most people would. From what I've read they will struggle with guilt too. They were incredibly lucky they woke up. Everyone should go check the batteries in their fire alarm.

-- Posted by My opinion counts on Thu, Jan 28, 2010, at 1:06 PM

You people are absolutely horrible and should be totally ashamed of yourselves!!!! The fire had already consumed where the lost pets were. They narrowly escaped themselves. They had just moved into this place--they have been trying to get all the stuff done as they could. Think about what you post, what if this was you??? Would you be happy if someone posted stuff like this about you? My family is going to try to donate as many things to them that are just laying around our house not being used. I hope you cold hearted so-an-so's will take the same steps, maybe God will look differently at you when your time comes.

-- Posted by smoke20fan on Thu, Jan 28, 2010, at 2:18 PM

How awful! My prayers to the couple. Do they know how it may have started? Looks like somewhere in the kitchen (from the pic).

-- Posted by IndiMa06 on Thu, Jan 28, 2010, at 3:09 PM

This is a wakeup call to anyone who does not have home owners or renters insurance. Many renters think that the landlords insurance covers their personal property. Well, it does NOT. For about $130 per year (depending on coverage), you can insure your rental.

-- Posted by I. M. Lee Thall, Esq. on Thu, Jan 28, 2010, at 6:28 PM

You know I am ashamed of people that post anything negative on here. A FIRE IS A FIRE and it is very tragic. If you seriously have nothing GOOD TO SAY..then keep your mouth shut. Would you seriously say that anyone that lost a loved one in a fire...a child or anything, blame them for not being able to get them out. GET REAL. Even if you were in a fire yourself, you were not there and don't know their situation. People should be posting things on here how to help, not how to destroy. Stop judging people, stop questioning people, and stop making fun of how or where someone lives. People do the best they can. If there is a way I can help, please let me know!

-- Posted by hotbodj on Thu, Jan 28, 2010, at 7:16 PM

My thoughts and prayers are with this family. They did what they could in a time of panic. I don't know how I would handle a situation like that & I pray to GOD that I never have to. They got out alive and that's all that matters.

-- Posted by th1953 on Thu, Jan 28, 2010, at 7:45 PM

My thoughts are with John & Pam during this bad time, I understand, when I was in high school, my family home catch fire, I lost my cat, Tom Boy, but in the wild seconds my family was rushing out into the winter weather, with just pj's on, there was not time to find Tom Boy who hid under a bed from the smoke, but I did grap a coat that was on the way out, DON'T JUDGE UNTIL YOU BEEN THERE, AND KNOW WHAT YOU WOULD DO.

John & Pam know people care & understand your lost, and thats what will help with the pain you are feeling. Don't worry with the small minded people who have no idea.

-- Posted by unsinkmbb on Thu, Jan 28, 2010, at 8:04 PM

Ok first off all you people with negative comments this offends me. Pam and John are my aunt and uncle. I was at that fire. They are VERY lucky to be alive. For those of you who want to dogg on them about losing their dog let me tell you something. My aunt Pam went back in the house after she was already out to go get her precious puppy. She could not get to him. She has VERY sevre asthma. By the way the fire STARTED IN THE LIVING ROOM WAS THE PUPPY'S CAGE WAS. THANK YOU. I had just been there an hour before this tragic event happened. There was nothing that could be done.Pam was lucky to go back in and get what she got without dying she can't take the smoke. And if she wouldn't have went back in the fire department would have not gotten called that was their only phine and my family which is across the yard did not see it on fire for we were in bed as well. S o for all you people leaving negative stuff please they don't need it. Pam cries everyday over losing her puppy over losing their house everything and they really don't need trash talk from rude people in our society. ALSO IF IT WOULDN'T HAVE TAKEN THE FIRE DEPARTMENT 28 MINUTES TO GET TO THE HOUSE THAT WASN'T EVEN A HALF A BLOCK AWAY, MAYBE SOME OF THERE BELONGING'S AND POSSIBLY THE PUPPY COULD HAVE BEEN SAVED. IF IT WOULD HAVE BEEN MY HOUSE MY FAMILY WOULD HAVE DIED CAUSE THERE IS OXYGEN IN MY HOME. STOP AND REALIZE PEOPLE. 28 MINUTES. THAT IS REDICULOUS THEN RUNNING OUT OF WATER. THAT IS WHY THEY LOST THEIR PUPPY AND EVERYTHING THEY OWN. Just think what if that was your house. They have nothing people. and I mean NOTHING. They now live with me..... Just think before you speak and judge someone when you weren't there and don't know what happened. I KNOW WHAT HAPPENED.......

-- Posted by carbongurl19 on Thu, Jan 28, 2010, at 8:32 PM

U mad. who are you to judge what a major remodel is? to some of us that may be paint, new carpet and maybe new ceiling tiles and to others it could be whole house renovation complete with 4 or 5 bath rooms, new wood floors, in other words, "the works". What is known as a "man's castle" to one could be vastly different to another. I am so sick and tired of all the trash talk in the paper after a serious accident, arrests, and even deaths. Get a life and quite judging every one you read about. God bless you John and Pam and I hope you recover soon.

-- Posted by Tracy Jones on Thu, Jan 28, 2010, at 10:56 PM

I could not once imagine the losses they have delte with in the last 48hrs. So how ever your life is people. Try to be the town we love to grip about,But always rise to the occation. Let's all be the people we should be and be there for these people. How ever you can if only to give a caring hug or reasure them the worse is over you are going to make it. And PAM,JOHN we are so sorry you went thru that. But so happy your alive.From my family to yours, Take a deep breathe and keep going forward,You can do this.

-- Posted by Cardonia Redneck on Thu, Jan 28, 2010, at 11:46 PM

You want an issue What is up with the fire department in Carbon? I would love to here their side of this. Because I can see there reason for being upset. A 1/2 a block away even with problems 20 some minutes? I would like to know their side because I live in a trailor and short of jets on your hinnys guys"I WANT GOD SPEED",Wouldn't you?

-- Posted by Cardonia Redneck on Fri, Jan 29, 2010, at 12:02 AM

To those who want to blame the VBFD (or any fire department) for these poor people losing their home .. read the article again, please -

Meanwhile, some Van Buren Volunteer Fire Department firefighters responding to the fire scene in a tanker truck experienced a technical difficulty on the way.

"There was an odd smell in the cab and then flames shot up behind the driver's seat," Van Buren Fire Chief Pete Taylor said. "They used a fire extinguisher to put out the fire. No one was hurt."

Members of Dick Johnson Volunteer Fire Department were immediately dispatched to provide tanker assistance.

Because a trailer can potentially become fully engulfed within seven minutes from the start of a fire, Taylor said, "John and Pam were very lucky."

The ARTICLE clearly states that "a trailer can potentially become fully engulfed within 7 minutes from the start of a fire". Even if the fire department(s) would have arrived within 5 minutes, the trailer would still have been a total loss.

Again .. thank HEAVENS these good people got out safely, with what they could. My prayers are with them.

-- Posted by Emmes on Fri, Jan 29, 2010, at 10:59 AM

I love the carbon fire deparment dont get me wrong but they have like four differnet trucks and two of the guys live pretty much right next to the fire department it should not have taken 28 minutes not even a half a block away that is just ridculous. like i said if that was my house my family would be gone because we have an oxygen machine that would have blown up. I think some stuff could have been saved if it would not have taken that long. Do realize I did say MAYBE. thanks to everyone though who is praying for them they really apprciate it they live with me as of now we are in the process of hopefully getting them a new home.

-- Posted by carbongurl19 on Fri, Jan 29, 2010, at 10:56 PM

Well First off it did not take the Fire Dept 30 minutes to get there. It is easy to talk bad about other people when you dont want to put blame on yourself or even know what your talking about. If I recall correctly there was a fire engine on scene within about 10 minutes after they called 911! That is good for a volunteer dept. Time seems longer in a time of panic. If it had been 28 minutes there would be nothing left of the trailer and there is still alot of it standing. There is only 2 fire trucks in carbon and 5 in Harmony. Im sure that it can be proven that it did not take 28 minutes to get to the fire. There was other people that seen that and can vouch for the Van Buren Fire Dept.

-- Posted by max23 on Sun, Feb 7, 2010, at 12:25 AM

Ok first off they had to call 911 3 times. And my dad times them from the time of the call till they got there. I just know it wasnt 10 minutes when my father was in the house timing it. But it is all over with and they still have nothing I was just relpying to the rude ass people out there making smart ass comments.

-- Posted by carbongurl19 on Thu, Feb 18, 2010, at 10:02 PM

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