UPDATE: Foster Family Loses Everything in House Fire

By: Josh McComas Email
By: Josh McComas Email

UPDATE 11/20/12 @ 4:45 p.m.
OLIVE HILL, Ky. (WSAZ) -- This holiday season, the Callahans of Olive Hill may have no home, but they're counting their blessings.

On Monday afternoon, Juanita and Rodney Callahan's home went up in flames. Mrs. Callahan is just grateful everyone made it out OK.

"We're surrounded by loved ones, so we're blessed," she said.

She has a message for people gathering around the table with their own loved ones this holiday.

"Just be thankful for everything you have. Be thankful you can breathe, thankful for your health, your family," Juanita Callahan said. "I think the family is the most important thing. Not just thankful, but grateful for all the things our Heavenly Father let us have."

The program director for NECCO, the foster care agency that the Callahans work with, contacted WSAZ with information about donations.

Donations can be sent to NECCO, 59 Fivco Court, Grayson, KY 41143, on the Callahans' behalf.



UPDATE 11/20/12 @ 12:45 p.m.
OLIVE HILL, KY (WSAZ) -- At the Callahan Homestead in Olive Hill, Ky., you'll find all the trimmings for a Thankgiving feast, but there's no place to prepare the meal.

"I've been asking around if anyone needs a turkey," said Juanita Callahan. "It's a shame we'll have no use for it."

Rodney and Juanita Callahan lost their home to fire Monday afternoon. It's the home 60-year-old Juanita's father built; it's a home where Juanita and Rodney raised their family; it's a home where the Callahan's where helping to raise the children of other families, as well.

The Callahan's are foster parents, and for the past 20 years have been building onto the once small farm house so others could have a chance in life.

"I opened up my home and my heart two three small girls whom I love as my own." said Juanita. "This Thanksgiving I'll bow my head and give thanks for what I still have. I don't know where we'll all be when I do that, but I'll give thanks."

Rodney, Juanita, her adult children and the two youngest of the three foster children ages four, five and nine were home at the time of the fire.

Firefighters say the fire was difficult to fight because of the additions built on creating walls behind walls and floors beneath floors. The fire was trapped inside the walls and would just all of sudden break through another wall.

No one was injured in the blaze.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



ORIGINAL STORY
OLIVE HILL, Ky. (WSAZ) -- A family who opens their home to help children in need, now needs a little help of their own.

Not only did a fire destroy the house Juanita Callahan grew up in -- it took out the foster home she and her husband have been working on for three decades.

The fact that no one was hurt is always the silver lining in a situation like this. But the pain of loss is still so inescapable.

"My son comes running out and says we better get out fast," said Juanita.

The smoke could be seen for miles over the hill tops of Olive Hill, Ky. As firefighters arrived from Grayson, Olive Hill and Carter City -- Juanita could only watch and cry as the home she grew up in as a child collapsed. The fire was on Barkers Fork in Olive Hill, Ky.

"Everything was paid off and we were really looking forward to enjoying the home," said Juanita

But it was more than a home to her family and children; it was home to more than 50 children who called the old farmstead home. Rodney and Juanita Callahan are foster parents, and for the past 20 years have been building onto the once small farm house so others could have a chance in life.

“It's not just a home for you. You've opened up your home to kids in need,” explained WSAZ.com.

"Yes,” answered Juanita. “We've been in foster care for years."

Christmas gifts were lost, along with a food pantry stocked with $10,000 worth of food. The family did manage to escape with some clothes and pictures. Now, they just need a new place for everyone to call home.

Rodney, Juanita, her adult children and the two youngest of the three foster children ages four, five and nine were home at the time of the fire.

Firefighters say the fire was difficult to fight because of the additions built on creating walls behind walls and floors beneath floors. The fire was trapped inside the walls and would just all of sudden break through another wall.

No one was injured in the blaze.

The Callahans hope to find family or friends to stay the night with until other arraignments are made.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.


Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
powered by Disqus
WSAZ NewsChannel 3 645 Fifth Avenue Huntington, WV 25701 304-697-4780 WSAZ Charleston 111 Columbia Avenue Charleston, WV 25302 304-344-3521
Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 180167881 - wsaz.com/a?a=180167881
Gray Television, Inc.