Townsend church raising money for children who survived fire

Townsend church raising money for children who survived fatal fire

Posted:
The fire broke out early Monday morning at the home on Webb Road. Friends told 6 News the mother of the three children died in the fire. The fire broke out early Monday morning at the home on Webb Road. Friends told 6 News the mother of the three children died in the fire.
"A lot of the members went and bought kids clothes the next day. Got the kids clothing. Made sure they were fed," said Will McCampbell, a member at Bethel Baptist. "A lot of the members went and bought kids clothes the next day. Got the kids clothing. Made sure they were fed," said Will McCampbell, a member at Bethel Baptist.

By HAYLEY HARMON
6 News Anchor/Reporter

TOWNSEND (WATE) - The community of Townsend is reaching out to three children who may have lost their mother in a fire.

The fire broke out early Monday morning at their home on Webb Road. Friends told 6 News it was the children's mom who died.

Officials said they're still working to identify the woman's body, but they determined she died from smoke inhalation.

Right now, the tight-knit community is wrapping its arms around these children.

Just about everyone in Townsend knows this family, including a number of firefighters who rolled onto the scene in hopes of saving the house and the people inside.

"Volunteer Fire Department in a small community. You know the community that you are serving and you never want this to happen. It's something you always pray won't happen," said Townsend Area Volunteer Fire Chief Don Stallions.

As bad as it is that a woman's life has been taken, they know it could have been worse.

"We are thankful the children did manage to get out of the house and managed to get to safety," said Stallions.

The children, ages 5, 8 and 12, as well as their mother, were actively involved at Bethel Baptist Church in Townsend.

"Several Sunday school classes, vacation Bible school, very supportive here at the church. Attended regularly," said Will McCampbell, a member at Bethel Baptist.

Church members went into action as soon as they heard about the fire.

"A lot of the members went and bought kids clothes the next day. Got the kids clothing. Made sure they were fed," said McCampbell.

But it's not just people from the church wanting to help. McCampbell said they've received numerous calls from people across the community, wondering how they can help out the family at this devastating time.

The church has put together a fund for monetary donations to help meet the needs of these children.

"Everything they had yesterday is gone. Three or four months ago they lost their dad and they lost their mom. The house was 100 percent destroyed. Nothing survived. All they had on them was their pajamas and that's all they've got today," said McCampbell.

They want to provide at least something for a family who has lost everything.

"The 12-year-old probably understands. The little ones, to them, it's probably such an emotional roller coaster. None of it really settles in," said McCampbell.

According to the Blount County Sheriff's Office, the children are currently in DCS custody.

The church said family members from Georgia have traveled to be with the children.

The Kallstrom Family Benefit by Bethel Baptist Church is set up at US Bank. Anyone wishing to help can send monetary donations to any branch of the bank.

Volunteers from the American Red Cross met with the family members of the children to provide shelter, food, clothing, comfort kits, emotional support and other emergency needs.

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