On Tuesday, January 2, 2012, a Ft. White family’s home was damaged by a fire. Melissa King called the Ft. White High and Ft. White Middle School attendance offices to inform them that her two children would be missing a few days of school due to the fire and the resulting damage.
Columbia County Sheriff’s Office School Resource Deputy Kimberly Ray heard of the family’s situation and launched an immediate effort to assist them, even though the family had not asked for help.
Deputy Ray learned that the fire, smoke and water damage left the children without clothing and school supplies. Deputy Ray, along with Deputy James Finnell and Sgt Tim Ball, were able to provide the children with clothing from donations that CCSO has received over the past few months to assist children in need. Brian Dicks of Brian’s Sports in Lake City, donated brand new shoes for the two King children. Bookbags, toiletries and school supplies were donated to the family by Dana Huggins of the Columbia County School Board.
ServPro, a damage mitigation company, was contacted to assist in the cleanup of the fire damage and to render the home habitable. Penny Stanley, President of the Columbia County Auxiliary Firefighters has pledged to cover the clean up fees of ServPro.
The King family is currently residing with family until their home can be repaired. The two King children were able to attend school the very next day due to the quick assistance rendered to them. One child attends Ft. White Middle School and the other child attends Ft. White High School.
The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office commends it’s School Resource Deputies, Dana Huggins, Penny Stanley, Brian Dicks and all the others that opened their hearts and resources to assist the King family in their time of need.