Fire drives family from home

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 16, 2003

A late evening fire drove a family from their home Tuesday, leaving them homeless and being assisted by the Suffolk Chapter of the American Red Cross.

Suffolk Firefighters responded at 6:30 p.m. to 812 McKinley Ave. and found a single story structure with heavy smoke billowing from it.

According to Suffolk Fire Captain Jim Judkins, firefighters pulled 200 feet of hose lines to battle the blaze, entering the structure through the rear of the house.

Email newsletter signup

They found the kitchen and a bedroom heavily engulfed in flames. Engine Company One quickly extinguished the fire and firefighters pulled the electric meter. Fire had burned its way through the outside of the house to reach the meter, and Dominion Power was called to the scene to handle the device.

Thaddeus Copeland, his wife and two children occupied the house. There were no injuries to the family or firefighters.

Suffolk Fire investigators estimated damages to the house and contents at $25,000. Howard Benton of North Liberty Springs Road owned the home. He said the home was insured, but said the Copeland family lost everything they owned.

&uot;They did not have any renter’s insurance,&uot; said Benton. &uot;The fire happened in the vicinity of the meter base and my guess is that it was the result of an electrical problem. Of course, I have not seen the fire marshal’s report.&uot;

Benton said when his insurance company settles the claim for the house; he plans to rebuild the structure so that the Copeland family could return to their home. Until then, the family is staying with Mrs. Copeland’s mother at White Marsh Road.

&uot;The family is very nice and they have two delightful little girls, Jessica and April, and I want them to have their home,&uot; said Benton. &uot;They were left with nothing in this fire and they need all the help they can get, and I hope that anyone who can help them will call the Red Cross. This family is truly a good, honest hard working family and they do deserve so much more that what has happened to them with this fire.&uot;

Anyone who would like to assist the Copeland family should call the Suffolk Red Cross office at 539-6645.