Andalusia Family Loses Home In Fire, Needs Help


By Catalina Trivino

An Andalusia family loses everything just days before Christmas. A late night house fire destroyed their home and now they're trying to pick up the pieces...

Five pumper trucks arrived at the McLelland's Stanley Avenue home, where fire deputies say flames more than 30 feet high destroyed it.

There's nothing salvagable at Linda McLelland's home. McClelland and her family's clothes, furniture and memories... all turned to ash.

"Imagine waking up and you've been in a deep sleep and you find out your house is on fire and you just... you don't have time to do anything," Said Linda.

McLelland was home last Thursday night with her son and daughter. They were all asleep. By 11:30 p.m, the house was fully engulfed.

"I heard the fire alarm go off, so I woke up and I went into the hall and there was smoke everywhere, but I went and got my sister up and I took her outside. And I went around the house and got my mom and then we went over to the neighbors house to call 9-1-1," Said 13-year-old son, Mitch McLelland.


"The fire is believed to have started in the living room area of the house and after doing some further investigation it is believed it was an electrical fire that started it," Said Andalusia Fire Chief, Ethan Dorsey.

The family was able to get outside to safety, but the smoke made it impossible to save anything, but their lives. But McLelland is calling this a beautiful tragedy -- with Christmas just around the corner, she says she's never seen such an outpouring of love from the community.

The McLelland's say they've been getting help from the Red Cross, churches, and people from the community, who just hand them money or clothes.

"The night of the fire, as my daughter and I were sitting together and just discussing everything that just happened, we took a moment out to share with one another what we had bought for each other that was under the tree," Said Linda. "And the beauty in that is that we were alive to sit there and share that with one another."

For now, the family is living a fishing cabin. They say they hope to re-build on the same lot.

If you'd like to help this family get through the holidays, the Covington County Red Cross is taking up money. To help, call 334-428-2680.


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