A holiday weekend gathering turned tragic for a Clarksville family after a blaze claimed their home and all possessions.
Don and Valerie Seaman were hosting a cookout for their children and grandchildren Friday night at their home on Pippin Road. They had set up tents so Don and the young kids could have a campout after dinner. Four of the five little ones - ranging in age from four to seven - were in the front yard with the family, but the youngest of the grandkids, a one year old little boy, was sleeping on the sofa. His grandfather had decided to take a rest in the chair nearby, but got up just before 10 p.m. to join the rest of the family outside.
As they sat around visiting, Valerie looked up to see smoke coming from the mobile home.
Her son-in-law, Anthony Patterson, immediately thought of his little nephew asleep on the couch. He opened the door to the home and was overwhelmed by smoke. “He dove in and crawled to get the baby,” says Valerie.
The Carr-Clarksville Volunteer Fire Department arrived on the scene within minutes and worked until 4 a.m. to extinguish the blaze. The home was a total loss.
“They worked hard,” says a grateful Don.
“And they got here quick,” adds Valerie.
Despite losing everything they owned, the Seamans are extremely thankful that no one in their family was hurt. Their grandson was taken to Calhoun-Liberty Hospital as a precaution due to smoke inhalation, but he was fine.
Over the weekend, after the fire was out, the family found the toddler’s bottle in the charred living room next to where he had been sleeping. Miraculously, it was not burned. “I know God had that baby in a bubble,” Valerie remarks.
The family extends their appreciation to the volunteer firefighters who have returned to their home each day since the fire was out to make sure it doesn’t flare back up.
With no insurance, the Seamans are looking at serious expenses as they rebuild their lives. They have received some clothing donations and help from the American Red Cross, but much more items will be needed. They don’t have anywhere to store anything now, but if you have any furnishings or household items to donate, please contact Valerie’s sister, Brenda Register, at 674-4024. The Seamans will be residing with her until they can get a place of their own.
To make a monetary donation, an account has been set up for the Seamans at Wakulla Bank. You can make a deposit at any location.
In the mean time, the Seamans are thanking God their lives were spared and keeping smiles on their faces. “Don said he wanted this to be a campout the kids would never forget,” says Valerie with a grin. “And it definitely was.”