Community Rallies Behind Local Family That Lost Everything to House Fire

Community Rallies Behind Local Family That Lost Everything to House Fire

Sasha Bush

The Ashland Beacon


   One local family lost everything recently in a tragic house fire that claimed the lives of their beloved Great Danes, Chole and Wayne.  Amber Duncan and her five children Caden, Natalie, Jase, Sidney, and JJ now find themselves trying to pick up the pieces of their lives after this tragic event sent their lives up in flames. 

   Fortunately for this well-loved family they are not alone. Family, friends and various people and organizations throughout the community have really stepped up to help this family in the darkest hours of their lives. Alissa Duncan, the sister of Amber Duncan commented on her sister’s behalf, “my sister is a single mother of five who works four jobs to make sure her kids are well taken care of and that they have everything they could possibly need or want. Right now, she's currently trying to get enough money for first month’s rent and deposit as well as the first month bills for a home for her and her children. Currently she is staying with me but when she gets a place the kids will need beds, blankets, and furniture because everything was lost in the fire and they were left without anything.”

   “A lot of people have really stepped up to help and it means more than we can articulate into words. We weren't expecting so much of an outpouring of love for my sister and her five children. We are simply overwhelmed by all the love and kindness that everyone has shown for them. It's an amazing feeling and we just want to say thank you for all the love, help and understanding. In addition to our immediate family there have been so many people that have really stepped up to help and all have went above and beyond with their compassion and generosity,” noted Duncan’s sister. 

   Hager Elementary and specifically two very special teachers from Hager, Miss. Vanbibber and Mrs. Kirby, have really set the bar for their kindness and generosity during these difficult times. “Without blinking an eye, they really stepped up the second they heard something had happened. It really makes Hager 

Duncan Family, A7

Elementary feel like true family. They really had our backs,” added Amber’s sister.

   In addition to immediate family, friends, and Hager Elementary rallying together to help in any way they can, several others throughout the community have also come to the aid of the Duncan family. Ashland’s JFL recently came together and raised a significant amount of funds as well as gift cards to help the Duncan family. 

   And when a community rallies together… big things can happen. Brandie Layne, owner of the popular customs shop Memory Layne Creations recently launched a T-shirt fundraiser to help raise funds for the Duncan family. “I just wanted to do something to help. They have five kids and having five kids myself I simply couldn’t imagine losing everything as well as my pets. My heart just breaks for them and I figured this T-shirt fundraiser would be the best route to go. What better way to come together as Tomcat family than with a Tomcat shirt,” stated Layne. All proceeds from the Duncan Tomcat shirt fundraiser will go directly to the Duncan family. To inquire about purchasing a shirt you can contact Memory Layne Creations at 606.694.9338.

   Family Resource Centers within the Ashland Independent School System have also joined forces to help gather and collect items that the Duncan family is in need of. Paul G. Blazer’s Family Youth Service Center Director, Brittany Brown noted, “A lot of people think that we are just here to give out school supplies and things such as deodorant and may not realize that we work on a much closer level with our students and our families to provide various types of basic needs as well as mental health counseling and referrals to community agencies to serve the whole family and get our families connected to resources that can help them in the long run. We are here to advocate for the family and provide them with any needs that we might have on hand such as clothing, food, or personal hygiene items. We also do referrals to local agencies and work with the Red Cross to help the family get back on their feet. We are here to assist them in any way that we can. When we first heard about the fire and what had happened, we contacted all the schools that the children attend and shared with them all the items that family needed and the sizes of clothing that was needed.” With all four of the Ashland Independent School Systems Family Resource Centers working together they were able to gather and collect many items that the family was in immediate need of.

   Donations are still being collected for the Duncan family as the road to rebuilding will be long one. For anyone that would like to donate anything to the Duncan family, you can do so by visiting any of the following family resource centers within the Ashland Independent School System:

•Ashland Family Resource Center- located at 520 17th St or by calling 606.327.2748

•South Ashland Family Resource Center- located at 2208 Diniaco Drive or by calling 606.327.2797.

•Ashland Youth Services Center- located at Ashland Middle School or by calling 606.327.2727

•Ashland Youth Services Center- located at Paul G. Blazer High School or by calling 606.327.6040

   “Somewhere along the way, we must learn that there is nothing greater than to do something for others.”- Martin Luther King Jr.

Related Articles