In the early morning hours of June 22nd, 2014, the live of Jim & Minnie Barnes and their family changed forever.
At 2am, the families rescued rat terrier dog, Sydney, woke the family with her barking. Minnie got out of bed to look into things. Entering her front room, she saw a sort of flashing orange glow out the front windows, and thought there was possibly emergency vehicles outside in the cul-de-sac. Opening her front solid door to take a look, she instead saw flames on the other side of the glass door. She immediately shut the door, yelled for Jim and her adult son, Jimmie, living in the basement at the time, then grabbed her granddaughter ,Jazmine, who just happened to be spending the night this night. Unable to go out the front, Jim, Minnie, Jazmine, and Sydney instead went out the back door only to become trapped in their own backyard with heat & smoke around them.... luckily good samaritan neighbors & police were able to break down their fence and get them all to safety. Jazmine & Minnie were checked out on scene and were 100% ok. In the meantime, Jimmie, unable to get upstairs and out, as the fire had burned into the house and draperies had fallen into the stairwell, was able to get himself, 2 large dogs, and a couple of cats thru his basement window. However a few days later one of the cats Salem, already elderly, passed due to the stress from the chaos surrounding the fire.
The cause of this fire is still unknown.....
This was the first home Jim & Minnie purchased....in 1986 they moved their family from government housing on an Army Base, to this home in the family community of Stansbury Park. This was the childhood home of their 3 children, Michelle, Nicole, & Jimmie , and "Grandma's House" to 3 granddaughters, Victoria, Ellyn, & Jazmine.
Jim is a drafted Vietnam vet, who went on to work for the Department of the Army until his retirement 10 years ago. Upon moving to Stansbury Park he discovered the Elks (B.P.O.E.) and has spent near the last 3 decades, dedicating himself to volunteer work with the Elks, helping children & Veterans. Once he retired the Elks basically became his full-time non-paying job. The amazing things he's done can humble many.
Minnie a stay at home mom until her 3rd child, worked 1 job her entire life, retiring from the Department of the Army's Civilian Personnel/Human Resources dept, almost 5 years ago, 2 weeks before her 3rd granddaughter, Jazmine was born. About a decade ago she discovered the local Children's Justice Center, and she began volunteering her time & skills to that amazing organization.
This couple worked hard & honest their entire lives for everything they needed, wanted, & had, only to lose it all in the blink of an eye. They spend their free time helping others who truly need it. Anything that can be done to help them during this time to rebuild their lives and actually enjoy retirement again, anything, is very well deserved indeed.
Thank you all!!
Meghan Bernal (On behalf of my Cousin Nicole Barnes and Lil Diva)
- Karl & Judy Miller
- Jackie Wilde
- Tom Scharnberg
- Lisa Bernal
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