Family of 4, pet escape house fire

By Kevin Spradlin
PeeDeePost.com

* Click here to donate directly to the family

ROCKINGHAM — A family of four, including a 10-year-old boy, had the worst possible start to the winter break when the home they’ve lived in for the past 12 years caught fire.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com

Firefighters from the Rockingham Fire Department responded Friday night to the home at 1818 Tanner Street, located off Richmond Road, when the called for help was reported to the county emergency dispatch center at approximately 8:18 p.m. — about five days before most kids will be putting out goodies for Santa and heading to bed.

While family members were in the kitchen baking Christmas cookies, the living room caught fire. Family members escaped through the attached garage. The father went back inside the home to rescue the family dog. Unbeknownst to him, the dog was already outside.

“I’m a bit shaken up,” said Randy Markham, a 28-year veteran of the North Carolina Department of Corrections.

The homeowners do have insurance, but a family member said all their clothing, including the autistic son’s uniforms for L.J. Bell Elementary School, were damaged.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com A husband and wife embrace in the driveway as Rockingham Fire Department personnel extinguish the flames in their home.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Randy and Selena Markham embrace in the driveway as Rockingham Fire Department personnel extinguish the flames in their home.

Within 16 minutes of the call being reported, firefighters had the blaze knocked down and were rolling up the last hose. The damage was done, however, as a thick, dark gray smoke rolled through the attic space from one end of the home to the other.

Fire Chief Harold Isler said the American Red Cross had been called to assist the family with temporary housing and other immediate needs. A few hours after arriving on scene, Isler said the case of the fire was “undetermined” but noted that the blaze was “definitely not suspicious.”

Today was early dismissal for students throughout Richmond County as they began their Christmas break. They return to school on Jan. 5.

Update: A family members has established an online fundraiser to help the family with immediate needs. Click here for more information.

Filed in: Featured News, Latest Headlines, News, Public safety, Rockingham

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  • victoria smith

    I am so sorry for your loss. You are in my prayers

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