Fire Leaves St. Martin Family Homeless - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

09/24/04

Fire Leaves St. Martin Family Homeless

Casey Laffoon fought back tears as she tried to go back into what was once her home on Sequoia Avenue in St. Martin. Laffoon said "Horrifying, it's very horrifying".

A tragic fire broke out Sunday night as Laffoon, her boyfriend Freddie Thorton, and their three-year-old son were asleep. Laffoon said "I woke up and I smelled smoke. I told Freddie I thought the house was on fire. I looked out the bedroom door and I saw that our living room was on fire".

Thorton told Laffoon to get out first.

Laffoon said "I ran out and I was hollering for Freddie to hurry up, because I didn't know if he'd make it out with the baby.  He came out with the baby under his shirt". 

The family got out just moments before the ceiling collapsed. Their puppy didn't make it. They lost everything, including the toys that little Gabriele received during his birthday party, just hours before the fire erupted.

Laffoon said "He had got a little Harley Davidson, a little motorcycle, power wheel for his birthday. Everybody bought him nice stuff, because he finally had a nice house to put it in, but it all got destroyed".

Now, all that's left are blackened walls, melted siding and ruined memories. But the family is thankful they still have each other.

Laffoon said "I'm just glad that we made it out OK, because material stuff can be replaced".

Freddie Thorton said "I worked so hard to finally get my family a nice house, then something like this happens. It makes you feel discouraged, but you got to keep your head up, and thank God my family's OK".

Investigators say the fire started in the living room, but they're not sure what caused it. The family has no insurance. Friends have set up an account to help them. If you'd like to donate, you can do so at any branch of Hancock Bank under the Freddie Thorton Benefit Fund.

By: Trang Pham-Bui

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