Halls teacher loses everything in fire

Sandra ClarkGet Up & Go, Halls

Time is running out to help the Halls Elementary School librarian who lost everything – cars and family home to a fire on May 2.

Veronica Carmazzi organized a “go fund me” fundraiser on behalf of Kandace Stephenson and Brad Allen, who escaped with no personal harm and rescued their animals (two dogs, two cats, a hedgehog and a fish).

Carmazzi’s fundraiser is set to end on June 6. So far, 75 donors have kicked in $4,000 of the $10,000 goal.

“Please give what you can to help Kandace and Brad settle into a furnished rental for the next several months and make that place a little more their own during the time it will take to rebuild their home,” Carmazzi wrote.

“Money is tight already from losing income due to the pandemic and they will be starting from scratch on a lot of necessities as they go through the process of remediation and rebuilding – groceries, pet food and supplies, clothing, blankets and pillows, and some electronics are needed. They also plan to put money aside to save for what they will need when they finally get back into their new home – furniture, kitchen supplies, bedding, toiletries, and all those little things that make a house feel like home.

“While we can’t bring back their house or the memories in it, your donations will help them start over and rebuild their lives. All donations will go straight to The Stephenson/Allen family.”

A school parent said Stephenson was hired at Halls Elementary when Amber Rountree left following her election to the school board. “We hit it off immediately and she has become a very close friend. She is definitely a good one.

“They lost just about everything in the fire. It started in the detached garage and jumped to their house. They were able to get their dogs, cats and her hedgehog out and a few things, but they essentially lost everything, including both cars that were in the garage. Thankfully, she has a sister who lives in town and they were able to stay with her until they could get a rental.”

Halls is a giving community. We just need to get the word out. Please share this story on social media and donate if you can.

Sandra Clark is editor/CEO of Knox TN Today.

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