Fire victims glad for strangers' kindness

Posted at 9:48 PM, Dec 25, 2015

BURLINGTON, Ky. -- When a garage fire forced the Pennix family from their home two days before Christmas, Hebron firefighters were there to put out the flames.

But they took it a step further to make sure Tom, Teresa and their nine children had a merry Christmas.

Members of Hebron Fire Station 1 invited the family in for Christmas breakfast and dinner. And by the time breakfast arrived, the firehouse was filled with gifts -- the firefighters had put out a call to the community to drop off gifts for the Pennix family.

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"It's just an extension of what we do day in and day out. Our job is to take care of people," Capt. William Fletcher said.

Teresa Pennix and her whole clan were grateful for the firefighters who went beyond the jobs and made sure they had a second "home" on Christmas Day.

"This is going to sound really strange after everything that has gone on: This has been the best Christmas I think that we have ever had," she said. "I was telling the kids today, you know, we are all focused on what's bad, but there's so much good and it's always been here."

The Pennix family doesn't expect to be able to move back home for four months. Until then, they're staying in a hotel.

Another fire, this one on Christmas morning, sent Bob Morrison scrambling from his home in Franklin, Ohio.

Morrison said a 50-year-old light fixture sparked the fire when it failed. The home quickly filled with smoke, Morrison said, so he ran outside.

"Six or seven neighbors showed up helping, offering me stuff, a coat -- I had no coat on -- a place to stay and so forth," he said. "It was very nice."

Morrison's home was left with smoke and water damage, and the roof will need to be repaired. Mostly, he said, it's minimal damage, and no one was hurt.