A Colquitt Co. family is homeless for the holiday - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

A Colquitt Co. family is homeless for the holiday

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November 23, 2006

Colquitt County-  A Colquitt County family who lost everything this week but the clothes on their backs have found a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. Eddie Arnold, his wife Janie, and her brother Glen Smith narrowly escaped the flames when a fire erupted in their home Tuesday. A good Samaritan pounded on the family's home waking the three up and getting them out of harm's way just in time. The family says the fire won't ruin their holiday celebration.

Eddie Arnold's three children were at school, his wife who works late afternoons, Eddie and his brother in law who both work nightshift had all fallen asleep when something startled them, minutes later their home was reduced to rubble, they lost everything, but it's made them more thankful for what they have each other and good friends.  

This Thanksgiving the Arnold family awakened in an unfamiliar hotel room instead of their home. The home they've known for the last four years is now nothing more than rubble. Bobby McDaniel passed by Tuesday and awakened the family with screams.

"He hollered out get out, your house is on fire," said Eddie Arnold.

"It was real terrifying, I didn't know what was happening, I was scared," said Janie Arnold. 

Eddie, his wife Janie, and her brother Glen Smith scrambled from the home.

"As we went out the front door the total underside of the front part of the house was totally up in flames,"  said Arnold. 

Within minutes the house was reduced to this pile of rubble, everything destroyed. Since then help has poured in.

"We've had clothing coming in from various places, my place of employment has been more than helpful and giving, like I said it's just been a tremendous outpouring of gifts of all sorts," said Arnold.

Making the Arnold family extra thankful this Thanksgiving. "You make the best of it," said Arnold through tears.

Thankful for the man who may have saved their lives. "Had he not stopped with the amount of time that it took for the house to become fully engulfed, I don't believe me, my wife, or my brother in law would have made it out alive," said Arnold.

Thankful to be together and thankful to the numerous churches and friends who have helped during this difficult time.

"I have a loving wife, three beautiful children, I have a wonderful brother in law that lives with us, and with the help from the community it really give you something to be thankful for, honestly and truthfully.," said Arnold.

Thursday the Arnold's spent Thanksgiving with family in Tifton. They're looking for a house and friends have donated the family furniture to help them furnish it and get back on their feet. 

The American Red Cross and the Country Hearth Inn and Suites helped put the family up until their could find more permanent housing. Fire fighters still haven't determined what sparked the fire.  

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