BY KEN LITTLE
A Hawkins County sheriff's deputy and his family who live in Greene County were left homeless Monday by a fire that destroyed the trailer they lived in.
Sam Wilhoit, 40, and his family were not home at 6 p.m. Monday when the fire tore through their single-wide mobile home at 3005 Oakwood Road.
The family lost all their possessions, said Rebecca Dinkins, secretary to Hawkins County Sheriff Ronnie Lawson.
Wilhoit, his wife Crystal, and their 4-year-old son are staying with relatives for the time being.
Members of the law enforcement community and the public are reaching out to help the family.
"They're kind of still in shock. It's devastating. They didn't have insurance," Dinkins said.
The owner of the mobile home, who lives down the road from the Wilhoits, smelled smoke, and when he went outside, he saw the mobile home where the Wilhoits lived was on fire, Greene County Sheriff's Deputy Anthony Pruitt said in a report.
"The fire appeared to have started in the area of the electrical box and furnace area of the trailer," the report said.
Members of the Midway, Mosheim and McDonald volunteer fire departments fought the fire. Damage was listed at $40,000, not including contents.
Greene County-Greeneville Emergency Medical Services was on scene, along with the Greeneville Light & Power System and the Greene County chapter of the American Red Cross, which "responded to assist a family of three with emergency needs," local Red Cross Executive Director Anthony Morrison said in a news release.
The Wilhoit family needs assistance to get back on its feet, Dinkins said.
"They're working on getting some help," she said.
Donations can be sent to or delivered to the Hawkins County Sheriff's Office, Attention: Sam Wilhoit, 117 Justice Center Drive, Rogersville, TN 37857.
The Wilhoits could use clothing, furniture, other household items, gift cards and checks, which can be made out to Sam Wilhoit.
Clothing in particular is needed, Dinkins said, including men's 36-by-34 pants, 2x-size shirts and size 13 shoes. Also needed are women's size 5 or 6 pants, small-size shirts, and size 6 to 6-1/2 shoes. Boys child size 5T and size 11 shoes are needed.
For more information, please call the Hawkins County Sheriff's Office at (423) 272-4848.