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Berea community comes together to help fire victims

Posted December 24, 2009

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— The small Granville County community of Berea, near Oxford, is coming together to help one of their own during the holidays. A house fire last Friday left the Pampo family homeless, but thanks to the goodness of others, they will have an enjoyable Christmas.

“With a lot of good people helping me out, they've made it a great Christmas,” Tammy Pombo said.

Fire destroys Berea home Fire destroys Berea home

At 3:15 a.m. Friday, Tammy and her children were asleep inside the house when the fire started. Everyone got out OK, but practically everything they owned was damaged or destroyed.

Before the fire, the tree was up, the stockings were out.

“We didn't have presents under the tree. I actually didn't start Christmas shopping because I had to wait for my paycheck,” Pombo said.

Pombo is a single mother raising 9-year-old Tyler and 11-year-old Stephanie. Her paycheck must now be spent on hotel and food costs.

“It’s been hard,” Pombo said.

“Without all of this, they probably would have had nothing.”

The Berea Volunteer Fire Department and the River Zion Church pitched in to buy toys, dolls, clothes and school supplies for the children.

“Just to see a smile on the kids faces right here at Christmas time, we ask for nothing in return, that's our gift from them,” Darrell Baird, with the Berea Volunteer Fire Department, said.

As Pombo continues to look for a permanent place to live, she said she thinks of what she lost while also being thankful for what she still has, her children.

“My son told me the other day. He said, ‘Mom, I love you. I just want you to stop crying,’” Pombo recalled.

“I don't care about anything, as long as I have them,” Pombo said.

Pombo credits her smoke alarm for saving all three of their lives.


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