Family looking to rebuild after devastating fire

July 31, 2013

by Cris Ritchie — Editor
HAZARD – A Perry County family is attempting to pick up the pieces after a fire last week destroyed nearly everything they owned.
Amanda Callahan said a candle started a fire on the night of July 23 at the home her family was renting in Bulan. Living in the residence at the time was Callahan along with her husband and two children, ages 11 and 12, and Callahan's mother.
The fire started late that night and was actually extinguished, and Callahan said some of their possessions suffered only smoke damage. After the fire rekindled a few hours later, however, it destroyed the rest of the home.
Fortunately, no one was injured in the fire, though Callahan said the family was left with little else besides their vehicle and the children's bicycles.
“Right now we don't even have a phone number,” she said, noting even her cell phone was lost in the fire.
And with just two weeks before school begins, Callahan said the children are coping well considering the loss, but the fire has left the entire family essentially empty-handed.
“They (the children) lost all their school clothes and everything,” she said. “They have actually done pretty well. The hotel let them bring the dogs in, so that's kinds of helped them and they're dealing with it better than I expected.”
The family is currently staying at the Super 8 in Hazard thanks to aid provided by the local Red Cross chapter, though as of Thursday morning the family will have to leave. She said they didn't have insurance, and are now left looking at whatever options are available to them.
Other than support from the Red Cross, Callahan said the family hasn't received any calls of support from anyone else, and at present she's not sure where the family will go once their time at the hotel is up. They won't be able to stay at the homeless shelter because the shelter doesn't allow children to stay there.
“We're looking for a place, trying to find one we can afford,” Callahan said on Wednesday. “From there I just don't know what to do, because it's going to take every penny we have just to get moved.”