Benefit organized for sheriff's deputy who lost home

VANCLEAVE, MS (WLOX) - By Steve Phillips – bio | email

VANCLEAVE, MS (WLOX) - The law enforcement community of Jackson County is organizing help for a sheriff's deputy whose Vancleave home was destroyed by fire.

Deputy Leann Harper-Moe managed to save her two children from the house fire early Wednesday morning. But the family lost all their belongings.

"They lost all their Christmas. Everything. Clothes. I mean every belonging they had, they lost," said Sheriff Mike Byrd, as he surveyed the scene.

The sheriff says the still smoldering scene tells the tale of destruction.

"It melted the boat.  It ruined all that," he said, pointing to the widespread damage.

Her husband had already left for work early Wednesday when, thankfully, Deputy Leann Harper-Moe was suddenly awakened.

"Deputy Moe was asleep in her home with her two children. And she woke up to the smell of smoke in the house. It was pretty much through the whole house. And as you can see, the house was completely destroyed and everything in it," said the sheriff.

The small wood frame house is a charred mess. Some remnants of Christmas are still visible among the soot and ashes.

"They were pretty much in shock most of the day yesterday, which is understandable. But they're coping with it and we're going to do everything we can to help them," said Sheriff Byrd.

As is always the case, the law enforcement family takes care of its own.

"We have secured a place for them to stay at this point. And everybody has been so kind and generous in helping her. And we really appreciate that," said Sheriff Byrd.

After getting her children safely outside, the deputy tried to go back inside the home to salvage a few belongings. But the smoke and heat were simply too much.

"Law enforcement is a family. And when something happens to one, we all rally together. We may have our differences at times, but we're still family and we look out for one another," says Sheriff Byrd.

A benefit account has been opened at Hancock Bank for the family of deputy Leann Harper-Moe.

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