Macon County Chronicle

Thanksgiving Fire Destroys Home

A devastating fire, at 809 Wilmore Hollow Road, left Charles Scoggins and his family facing the upcoming holiday season, without a home.

Firefighters from the Red Boiling Springs, Willette and Lafayette Fire Departments were dispatched to the residence at 11:15 a.m. on Wednesday morning, November 25th.

According to Randy Hagan, of RBSFD, who was one of the first responders, the mobile home was already fully involved with flames shooting from the roof and the structure was lit up from one end to the other, when they arrived on the scene.

Scoggins was at work and his wife, Gina, who works at Knollwood Manor, had gone to the beauty salon when a neighbor spotted the smoke and immediately informed the couple’s nephew, Aaron, who thankfully had gotten up and was walking to his grandparents’ home nearby.

“The breaker in the bathroom kept flipping off,” Charles told this reporter when I sat down with the family on Sunday morning, November 29th, “and I just turned it off and decided to fix it when I got home from work.”

15-year-old Aaron and his grandparents, Ewing and Betty McMurtry, headed to the home and attempted to douse the fire with a hose and buckets of water, while Charles’ daughter-in-law, Heather Scoggins, called 911.

“We had over thirteen firefighters from the area departments dispatched to Wilmore Hollow,” Hagan said, “and we remained at the scene battling the blaze until 2:00 p.m. using over 6,200 gallons of water. The area was hot and the firemen quickly attempted to contain the fire to prevent it from spreading to other nearby structures in this remote location.”

“The home was actually two single wide trailers combined into a double wide,” Hagan continued, “and in one of the back bedrooms Mr. Scoggins had several guns, including two or three boxes of ammunition. Luckily we were able to remove them from the premises before the fire consumed that room also and the bullets exploded.”

The firemen were unable to salvage anything from the blaze except a camera and the three outside dogs were moved away from the heat and smoke.

“We’ve lived here for over 22 years and the people here in Macon County have rallied together to help us in our quest to re-establish a home,” Gina Scoggins said with a smile. “I’m amazed at the support we have received from friends, neighbors and even complete strangers, including Tim Newberry who immediately set up a travel trailer on our property, providing us with a place to stay. Junior Dickerson has volunteered to bulldoze the charred remains of our home and we have already found a single-wide we hope to set up in the next few weeks.”

“Chief Danny Knight contacted the Red Cross that night,” Charles said, “and they actually showed up on Thanksgiving Day and presented us with a $950 debit card as well as personalized kits filled with everyday necessities.”

“We want to thank all our neighbors, the people I work with at Knollwood Manor, Brad Garmon & his family, our church family at Jubilee Worship Center in Westmoreland, and all our relatives and friends for coming to our aid during this time of great despair,” Gina said. “We also want to thank the firemen for all their hard work extinguishing the fire and most of all we want to thank God for saving Aaron’s life and sending so many wonderful people to support us, including our two grown children, Aaron Scoggins and Kristen Hunter.”

The Scoggins family, who had no insurance, is in need of virtually everything and donation jars are set up at various locations around Lafayette and Red Boiling Springs. A Roadblock will be held in the coming weeks and any and all donations will be greatly appreciated.

The home was a complete loss and the origin of the fire is still unclear. No injuries were reported and the first responders included the RBS, Willette and Lafayette Fire Departments, the EMS, Macon County Sheriffs Department and area Rescue Squads.