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Public Notices

April 16, 2014

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Fire Destroys Home
Of Grandparents Raising Grandkids

Sun photo by O.J. Early

This is all that remains of the home of Bill and Sheila Hensley, grandparents who are raising two grandchildren, ages 11 and 14. A fire Wednesday morning destroyed the home of the disabled couple.

Originally published: 2012-12-22 00:10:21
Last modified: 2012-12-22 00:28:07



A bank account has been set up to aid the victims of a fire Wednesday morning that destroyed their house in Limestone.

Left homeless in the blaze at 495 Pritchard Road were Sheila and Bill Hensley, both 63. Also living with the Hensleys are two grandchildren, ages 11 and 14.

"An account has been set up in the name of Bill Hensley at Bank of America on U.S. 11E for anyone who would like to help out this family in their time of need," said Velma Gregg, sister of Sheila Hensley.

The bank's address is 1545 E. Andrew Johnson Hwy., in Greeneville. The bank's phone number is (423) 636-6340.

"They have nothing left. All Sheila had was the gown she was wearing when the firefighters pulled her out of the house. That's all," Gregg said.

Sheriff's deputies received a call at 8:48 a.m. Wednesday.

Sheila Hensley was carried from the burning house by firefighters, Deputy Robert Mathes said in a report.

Bill Hensley told deputies that he was on his way home from taking the children to Chuckey-Doak Middle School when he received a phone call informing him the house was on fire.

Sheila Hensley was taken by Greene County-Greeneville Emergency Medical Services to a local hospital, where she was treated and later released.

Bill Hensley told deputies that the fire started in a "back bathroom and came from the dryer," the report said.

Sheila and Bill Hensley are disabled. Sheila Hensley uses a wheelchair, and Bill Hensley suffers from severe arthritis, Gregg said.

"Both are disabled and trying to raise grandchildren," she said.

Gregg said the family is living temporarily in a camper on the back of their property, behind the burned-out house. The 11-year-old granddaughter and 14-year-old grandson are living in the camper with the Hensleys, Gregg said.

Christmas gifts for the children were inside the house. They were lost in the fire, Gregg said.

The family received some assistance, including clothing, from the Greene County chapter of the American Red Cross. The Greeneville-Greene County Community Ministries Food Bank is also helping.

But the family is in dire need of all the aid it can get, Gregg said.

The Limestone Volunteer Fire Department and at least one other fire department responded to the scene, along with Greene County-Greeneville EMS and the Greene County Sheriff's Department.

The house, in the Greene County section of Limestone, had been in the family for generations. Gregg said she was born there.

"They are very limited in money," Gregg said of the Hensleys.

For more information and stories, see The Greeneville Sun.

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