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The Franklin News-Post
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
540-483-5113
Fax: 540-483-8013

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Community helping family displaced by fire
Businesses, individuals donating toys, furniture, food
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Staff Photo by Stacey Hairston: Steven Fisher-Mabry, from left, Melissa Perdue, Jamie Perdue, Aaron’s Sales Manager Tammy White and Manager Seth Pagani stand beside a set of bunk beds the store has donated to the Perdue family, who lost most of their belongings in a house fire Sunday morning.

Friday, January 11, 2013

By STACEY HAIRSTON - Staff Writer

A Boones Mill family who lost most of their belongings in a house fire early Sunday morning is receiving help from individuals and businesses throughout Franklin County.

Aaron's in Rocky Mount Plaza has donated a set of bunk beds to the Perdue family, along with a queen bed, living room tables and lamps.

"We have also called our other stores to see what they would be able to donate to the family," said Tammy White, sales manager.

James R. and Melissa Perdue awoke about 5 a.m. Sunday to the sound of someone banging on their door.

Patrick Lenez, a retired firefighter from Bloomfield, N.J. now living in Wirtz, noticed a strange glow and smoke as he was traveling south on U.S. 220. He followed the glow and discovered burning sheds behind the Perdues' home.

He ran to the door of the house and started banging on the door, he said. The couple and three of their children escaped without harm. Their youngest child had spent the night with other family members and was not at home.

"If it were not for Mr. Lenez, we would not be here right now," Melissa Perdue said. "We can never repay him for saving us."

The blaze started as an electrical fire in one of the storage buildings and spread to the back of the house, according to Franklin County Fire Marshal Bennie Russell. The two-story wood structure sustained severe damage, estimated at $150,000, Russell said. The structure is uninhabitable and the family lost most of their belongings.

"The children even lost all of the gifts they got for Christmas," Perdue said.

The owner of the house, Tommy Hubbard Sr., rented a hotel room for the family for a week and found another of his properties for the family.

"Our landlord (Mr. Hubbard) has been kind enough to put our electric bill in his name for the time being," she said.

The Perdue family has also received an outpouring of donations from other area businesses, including a TV with stand from Rent-a-Center and gift cards from McDonald's, Bojangles, Hardee's, Pizza Hut, Applebee's, Little Caesar's and PaPa John's.

"The community support has just been unreal," Perdue said. "There are just too many people to name them all."

Heather Hardy, an employee at Aaron's, is donating a case of pizzas to the family for one of their children's birthday on Monday.

"Everyone has been so helpful," Perdue said. "The Red Cross has already stepped in to help, and Steve Bousman from the Redwood Community Center took us to Walmart and bought us clothes and replaced our daughter's new bike and the children's X-Box that they got for Christmas."

Franklin Community Bank has opened an account for the family to receive donations from the community. Anyone wishing to help can make a check out to "Perdue Family Benefit" and reference account number 2103104210. Another drop-off spot for money and other donated items is Aaron's.

 
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