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News arrow News arrow Local News arrow COMMUNITY REACTS TO TRAGIC HOUSE FIRE

COMMUNITY REACTS TO TRAGIC HOUSE FIRE Print E-mail
December 01, 2000 11:00 pm

The impact of a house fire that took the lives of a Brookings family earlier this week has touched the hearts and minds of people throughout the community.

Smoke alarms were in short supply on Thursday and Friday after residents made runs to local hardware and department stores.

One local business has offered to sell his smoke alarms and fire extinguishers at cost through Christmas.

A trust fund has been established for the two surviving children. Students at Azalea Middle School are planning a change drive to benefit the children. Change can be dropped off at the Azalea Middle School office Dec. 4 through 8. Jars have also been set up in each classroom.

The family has received many phone calls and flowers from friends and acquaintances.

The response has been unbelievable. The house looks like a florists shop, said Richard Pendleton, whose son Greg, 41, and daughter-in-law Kathy, 44, died in the house fire. The couples 5-year-old daughter Kaitlyn also died.

The surviving daughter, Felisha, 12, is staying with family in Harbor.

Shes doing as well as can be expected. She has a lot of support, said Greg Pendletons brother, Scott.

The Pendletons fourth daughter, Veronica, 14, who lives in California, was on her way to Brookings Friday for the funeral services, Richard Pendleton said.

Funeral services are scheduled for 2 p.m. today (Dec. 2) at the Brookings Elk Lodge at 800 Elk Dr.

Richard Pendleton is in the midst of regaining ownership of Dick and Caseys Gourmet Seafood, which he had recently sold to his son Greg. He plans to keep the business going.

A trust fund for the two surviving daughters has been established at Family Security Bank in Harbor. Anyone wishing to make a donation can do so at the bank or drop by Dick and Caseys.

Many people responded to the tragedy by checking their smoke alarms and installing new ones.

The owners of Hennicks Hardware store in Brookings have decided to see all their fire protection devices at cost.

If we can keep a tragedy like this from happening again, its worth it, said store manager Ernie Turner.

In the days following Tuesdays fire, local merchants had a hard time keeping their shelves stocked with smoke alarms.

We sold out on Wednesday and received 15 more on today, but theres only three left, said an employee at Kerrs Ace Hardware.

It was the same story at Fred Meyer, which sold out on Wednesday, but had more by Thursday.

People have been calling in to see if we have any, said store employee Kerry Cravens.

On Thursday, Brookings Fire Chief Bill Sharp said he hadnt realized how much the community had been impacted by the tragedy. Yesterday I had so many hugs, from people I didnt even know.

He said many people have called the fire department office asking for advice on smoke alarms. One man even brought one in to be checked.

He had fresh batteries and the light was flashing, saying it was operating, but when we checked it, it didnt work, Sharp said.

 

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