Family loses everything in fire

It also had paneling on the inside walls. There is very little protection once a fire starts and it tends to move very quickly," he said.

He said also, if a window or door is open when the fire starts, it provides oxygen for the fire causing it to create its own air current which also feeds the fire and causes it to move quickly and with great strength. "The newer model mobile homes have been constructed better and with thicker insulation and stronger wood frames. This has helped some homes survive fires much more readily than the older homes." he said.

Stephanie Russell's father, Donald Carmean and his wife Wanda have had the Russell family living with them since the fire. He said it has been very hard to see how much his daughter and her family lost because of the blaze. A Georgetown fireman for 30 years, Carmean knows the devastation that fire can bring.

"They lost everything. I mean everything," Carmean said. "There was no insurance on the mobile home they owned. However, she (Stephanie) did have insurance on the pickup truck. But, they lost all of their furniture, clothes, and possessions. They literally left that home with only the clothes on their backs."

Carmean said he is thankful that although they lost all their possessions, no one was seriously injured during the fire. He said that Stephanie's 17-year-old son who was lying down inside the home at the time of the fire was treated for smoke inhalation at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital, but later released.

Carmean said people have responded to the tragedy helping with clothing for the family.

Immediately after finding out about the fire The American Legion Post 19, Laurel, started a clothing drive. Carmean, who is 2nd Vice-President of Post 19's "Sons of the American Legion," group said he is very appreciative of the generosity of the organization members and friends.

In a flyer announcing the drive, it was recognized that Carmean and his wife, Wanda, have always been at the center of any fund drive being undertaken by Post 19. "Donald [Carmean] and his wife Wanda are the first to show up to help for events we hold at Post 19 and now it's our turn to help them," the flyer stated.

Carmean said his daughter's family was approached by a former resident of Briarwood Estates who said he had moved out of the park. His mobile home, located just a few streets away from where the Russell's resided, is still in the park and he is making it available to the family. Carmean said it is a blessing for his daughter's family, but because the home is unfurnished, they are unable to move in until they are able to find some furnishings.

Anyone interested in donating household items, including kitchenware, furniture and beddings, can drop off items at the Laurel American Legion Post 19 with a note indicating it is for Donald Carmean. Clothing for the family, Huggies diapers, and cash is also welcome. More information about how to help the family can also be gained by calling either Donald Carmean at 841-5795, or Gary "Hoot" Holloway at 236-2525.

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