Fire leaves Williamstown family homeless

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By Camille McClanahan

Tommy Dezarn was at work on April 28, and his wife, Terri, was at their daughter’s home in Williamstown, taking care of their grandchildren, when she got the news that their house might be on fire.


Utha Simpson, Dezarn’s mother who lives outside of Williamstown, was notified by her neighbor that  an alert for the Williamstown fire department came across their scanner; there was a fire on Waterworks Road. She immediately called her daughter.

“We got a call that smoke was coming from a house,” Rob Ollier, captain for the Williamstown Volunteer Fire Department said. “The first crew didn’t see it, at first, but soon realized that the fire was in the kitchen and called for additional help from Dry Ridge. We ventilated the roof and it went pretty smoothly.”

Even though the fire was contained to the kitchen, smoke and water damage was extensive throughout the house. Although they haven’t gotten a monetary estimate yet, the Dezarns were told by their insurance adjuster that repairs could take four to five months, according to Simpson.

“I’m not a sentimental person, but, my first thought was all the things that can’t be replaced” Terri Dezarn said. “This is just awful.”

In the mist of all the chaos, the presence of Melanie Anderson, Dezarn’s niece and the assistant chief of the Williamstown Fire Department, was a comfort to her, Dezarn said.

“Right now the cause is still under investigation,” Anderson said. “There is too much smoke to do much. The preliminary investigation points to the kitchen as the point of origin.”

Meanwhile, cleaning up and temporarily homeless, the Dezarns, their two daughters and son, have been assisted by the American Red Cross, but are looking for a place to rent.

“Everybody’s all right, that’s the main thing,” Simpson said. “It could always be worse. It will all work out.”