Fundraiser set for fire survivors

PEOGA — A northern Brown County family is without a home after a fire over Thanksgiving weekend.

Fire broke out in the home in the 9700 block of Calvin Cemetery Road at about 6:20 p.m. Nov. 24, and it was a total loss, said Hamblen Township Volunteer Fire Department Chief Arlan Pierce.

The owner called dispatch to report his trailer was on fire. Pierce said the home was made up of three trailers put together.

The third trailer was completely engulfed when firefighters arrived and the second was partially on fire. Firefighters were able to gain entry through the first and second trailers to battle the blaze, Pierce said.

“(Once we made entry) then it was just to try and get as much water as we could to get it out when we could,” he said.

Pierce said the cause of the fire is undetermined, “but probably electrical.”

He said the homeowners had a sump pump and pipe lines to keep pipes warm in the winter, and they were plugged into an electrical box under the bathroom.

The owner, Leroy Miller, told firefighters that the lights began to flicker and he went outside to flip a breaker.

“They saw flames coming out of the register on the floor,” Pierce said. “When they opened the bathroom door, there it was.”

There were four people living in the home. The American Red Cross was called to assist them, Pierce said.

No one was injured. Fire departments from Morgantown, Trafalgar, Nineveh, Cordry-Sweetwater and Fruitdale all assisted. Hamblen firefighters were on scene until nearly 11 p.m., according to the dispatch log.

The Miller family, including Leroy, his wife and two 18-year-old children, was staying at a hotel in Nashville last week.

Help the Miller family

The Millers’ neighbors, Robert and Sybel Sanders, are collecting money to help the family. Sybel Sanders called their neighbors kind and helpful.

“It’s a community (on Calvin Cemetery Road),” Sanders said. “… Everybody likes helping everybody. Everybody is like family on this road.”

The Sanders family has placed donation containers for the Miller family at the Small Town Mart in Peoga (formerly Brock & Brocks) and at Franklin Coin Laundry at 1723 N. Main St. in Franklin.

Those who can’t visit the donation sites can send checks to the Sanders family at P.O. Box 342, Trafalgar, IN 46181. Address checks to Leroy Miller.

She said she will make sure the couple receives the money; they are in contact with them daily.

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Suzannah Couch grew up in Brown County, reading the Brown County Democrat. A 2013 Franklin College graduate, she covers business, cops/courts, education and arts/entertainment.