Easter Sunday was a not so joyous of an occasion for one Jackson County family as they lost their home to fire Saturday night.
Lula Chambliss is usually working hard as the family services coordinator for 144th Transportation Unit while her husband and the rest of the soldiers are away fighting a war in Iraq, but now she must face a battle of her own. While Chambliss was attending a church function Saturday night, the church received a call that her neighbor's house was on fire.
Greg Roberts, Chambliss' pastor, says, “Her son ran down to check on the neighbor and they found out that it was not the neighbor's. It was Lula's house burning to the ground. Apparently a lightning strike caused it to actually explode.”
Several fire departments an even Chambliss' sons did all they could to stop the spread of the fire.
Keith Chambliss, a son, says, "When I got down there, I could tell it was my mom's house. The first fire department had just got there from Bascom. I grabbed the hose and did all I could to put it out, but there was nothing I could do.”
The house and most of its contents were lost to the blaze, but a few very sentimental things were able to survive.
Lula says, "I just knew they were gone. I said, ‘all my pictures of my kids and grandkids,’ they were gone. Memories I thought I wouldn't have, I've got.
Chambliss had several family photos stored in a duffel bag, and after digging through the ashes, her son was able to find them.
"I've got to keep my head up because my husband's overseas and I got to. I've got these youngins and they're going to stand behind me."
The fire may have taken this family's home and everything but the clothes on their back, but their memories live on.
A local church has started a fund to help the family. If you would like to make a donation, you can contact the First Baptist Church of Bascom at 850-592-2126.