Benton Home Burns but Christmas Tree Still Stands

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One of the best things about families is that they are there for each other.

That’s especially true for a local family whose loved one had their home heavily damaged by fire Tuesday.

When Salem Fire Department (SFD) volunteer Assistant Chief/EMT Mike Moravec was called to the scene, along with his wife Jill, who is also a volunteer firefighter/EMT, he recognized the address as his sister’s home. 

As flames shot from the roof, both were on the front line (Mike served as incident commander on scene) in the effort to save the home of Kathy and Joel Turpin.

Once the fire was out, a Christmas miracle was left standing in the middle of the rubble. It was the family’s Christmas tree. It had only been singed by the flames and made it through, decorations and all.

The Moravec and Turpin families are counting their blessings after the fire that brought them together in an unusual way.

“We are very thankful no one was hurt and, mindful of the fact that 2 people died in a house fire in Little Rock the same night, the whole family is praying for their family and the firefighters there,” says Moravec. “The fire service is a family too, and Salem Fire Department is thankful for our neighboring departments that responded as mutual aid, and MedTran ambulance, who had an ambulance on scene standing by if needed. Thankfully, it was not.”

The Turpin family asks that “if you want to do something, please do something nice for your local fire department.”

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