Family loses home to fire

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 7, 2007

MILWAUKEE – A family of five lost their home to fire here Thursday morning.

What they didn’t lose was the compassion of their fellow man.

Neighbors, friends and even strangers are reaching out to the Tim Odom family after a fire destroyed their home located at 4644 NC 35 in the Northampton County community of Milwaukee. Fortunately, no one was injured in the blaze.

“We feel blessed to have so many people helping us through this,” said Tim’s wife, Betty Jo Odom who, at a laundromat on Friday morning, was busy washing what clothes were saved from the blaze. “People are calling to see what they can do to lend us a hand.”

Those “helping hands” rushed to the family’s aid at the time of the Thursday blaze, an incident sparked by a grease fire in the kitchen.

One of the family’s three teenage children was home at the time. He attempted to douse the flames, but to no avail, before running next door where a neighbor summoned the Conway Volunteer Fire Department through a 9-1-1 call.

“Teddy Aston, one of our neighbors, ran over and began spraying water from a water hose on the fire before the fire department got there,” Mrs. Odom said. “Another neighbor, David Jenkins, cut off the gas supply to the house.”

Meanwhile, two other neighbors, Eva and Tommy Johnson, brought coats to keep everyone warm on a sunny, but cold day.

“Angela Taylor went and picked-up my two girls from school at Northampton-East,” Mrs. Odom said. “The firemen offered us clothes. There were just so many people there giving us love and support. I can’t thank them enough.”

In the aftermath of the fire, several area churches are offering support. Mrs. Odom said the family’s home church, Liberty Free Will Baptist of Ahoskie, is by the family’s side, as is Mrs. Odom’s old home church, Union Baptist. She said that Potecasi Baptist Church has offered free use of their parsonage until the family is able to find another residence.

The family has homeowner’s insurance.

“We’ll start again somewhere, but we loved that house,” Mrs. Odom said. “It was an older home. We had done a lot to it to fix it up.”

Those wishing to help the family in their time of need can contact Mrs. Odom at 585-0048. The family is in need of shoes and clothing in the following sizes:

Mr. Odom: 32/30 pants, medium shirt, size 11 shoes.

Mrs. Odom: 1x top, size 20 pants, size 8 &rac12; shoes.

17-year-old son: 32/30 pants, medium shirt, size 8 &rac12; shoes.

16-year-old daughter: size 1, 2 or 3 pants, medium top, size 7 &rac12; shoes.

15-year-old daughter: size 00 pants, extra small or small top, size 6 shoes.