Community comes together after family loses everything in fire

NOW: Community comes together after family loses everything in fire

OSCEOLA, Ind. - A family’s home was up in flames Tuesday night. On Wednesday, they are finally seeing it in the light.

Paul Franklin comes home to see his house in flames.

“11 years’ worth of stuff is still here. 11 years. Man, it’s just been hard. Man,” Franklin, the homeowner, said.

When their Osceola home caught fire Tuesday night, Franklin, his wife and three children lost virtually everything. But it goes deeper than that for the family.

“Because my son got paralyzed 2 years ago and we was struggling with that. Then now this happened. It’s too much. It’s too much,” he said.

Fortunately, his wife and son who is disabled got out of the house safely along with two of their three dogs. The third dog was nowhere to be found.

“One was still in there. She was still in there for about four hours while they were still fighting the fire,” he said.  “And he comes over to my neighbor’s house. He said, ‘this who you looking for?’ Oh man, I screamed so loud. Man, everybody heard me from here to Tennessee. I screamed loud. I was happy.”

Everyone, including all the dogs, was safe and sound.

And fire crews put the blaze out 6 hours later, officials saying the cause was electrical.

Now Franklin and his family are living with his daughter. But the next step?

“It’s just rebuilding,” he said.

A local church just three doors down on Apple Road is lending a helping hand.

“They’re our neighbors and they are wonderful people. They’ve come down and helped us snowplow our yard before,” Theresa Hausour, the Pastor at Apple Road Theatre and Ministry said. “Everybody in this neighborhood is really close and we just all help each other out.”

And they are accepting all donations.

“Things like sweatpants, bookbags, winter coats things like that. The biggest thing is one of their sons has a disability and needs a wheelchair,” she said.

The outpouring of support has hit home for Franklin.

“I appreciate everybody even for the ones who don’t think they care. They care. I appreciate it. I really do,” he said.

Throughout the day, several cars stopped by the house just to make sure the family is alright.

They do have insurance and his wife did even retrieve her purse from inside with all of her credit cards and ID’s

If you’d like to help the Franklin family, you are urged to donate anything from clothes to money and to drop it off at Apple Road Theatre and Ministry on S. Apple Road in Osceola between noon and 8 p.m.

For anyone dealing with a house fire themselves, the Red Cross helps in the initial stages, like finding a safe place to stay.

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