BY KEN LITTLE
Theresa and Ed Henry are just beginning the process of recovering from a devastating house fire.
So is their friend, John Powell.
The Henrys lost their house, two pet dogs and a lifetime of possessions in a fire last Friday afternoon.
Powell, a New Orleans-area native whom the Henrys took in after his home in St. Bernard Parish, La., was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, finds himself in a familiar position.
While the Henrys live temporarily in a camper, Powell, 61, is staying in a nearby workshop building constructed by the previous owner of the house.
Powell's home for years had been the basement of the two-story Henry house, which is located down a gravel driveway in the 7200 block of Newport Highway.
The four walls of the house remain, but the interior is charred, and the roof is gone.
Powell is a man of few words, but Theresa Henry said he is coping.
"He said he has been through worse," she said.
After what he experienced during Katrina, Powell thinks he still "has got it pretty good," Theresa Henry said.
"He's been a longtime friend of ours, and he lost everything in Katrina, and he's on a limited income," she said. "He has nothing and no place to go."
The cause of the fire remains under investigation. The Henrys were still waiting on Monday to speak with their insurance company.
No insurance settlement will bring back the Henrys' beloved pets.
Coco, a 5-year-old Yorkshire terrier, and Foxy, a 10-year-old miniature collie, both perished in the fire.
Powell became emotional speaking about them.
"I lost the cats [in Katrina]. This time, I don't even think about the dogs," he said.
Powell may have lost a cat in the fire, Theresa Henry said, although he prefers to think it is just "lost."
When the Henrys rebuild, Powell will also have a home. Theresa Henry said she and her husband like helping others.
"I'm a firm believer of what comes around, goes around," she said.
The Henrys stay in the camper literally in the shadow of their burned-out house, and haven't had much time to make plans to rebuild.
"I don't know. We're in such a fog about everything," she said.
The Greene County chapter of the American Red Cross assisted the Henrys and Powell with lodging immediately after the fire. But the Henrys want to stay on their property to keep an eye on things.
Theresa Henry looked in the front door of the burned-out house.
"Everything I worked for is gone," she said.
Gift cards from stores such as Walmart and Lowe's to buy some basic items are welcome, she said.
To help, call (423) 636-3213.