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Personal items lost in fire leave huge void

Personal items lost in fire leave huge void
Staff Reporter
Carrie Clark is thankful she and her babies are alive, but there is a deep sense of loss that set in over the weekend from the fire that claimed all her family’s possessions late last week in Obion.
The Clark family is slowly recovering from the fire, but the loss of certain personal items has been particularly devastating.
Dustin Clark, a firefighter and member of the McKenzie National Guard unit, lost several items that belonged to his grandfather, Bill Ward, including his Bronze Star, a handdrawn portrait of his grandfather, other military medals and awards and five guitars, including an Alvarez guitar given to him by his grandfather.
“All of his medals are gone,” Wendy Clark said today about her son’s medals earned during two tours of duty in Iraq.
He lost his Top Gun Award as well as the American flag that flew at the McKenzie armory during one of his tours in Iraq.
The Clarks have three children — Jayden, 4; Kylenn, 1; and Ayzia, 6  — who lost everything in Thursday’s fire.
“When I picked up the kids Thursday, Jayden told Ayzia, ‘Our house in the woods burned,’” Wendy Clark said.
Jayden has been most upset about losing his remote-control car and his baseball and bat. Ayzia has been most upset about losing her purple pageant dress and an elephant collection given to her by her grandmother.
When asked about how the family did over the weekend, Wendy Clark replied, “We did pretty well. Last night Dustin had a hard time … (Carrie Clark) is trying to handle it with as much laughter as she can.”
Wendy Clark said she is grateful for the overwhelming response from the community. She said donations have really helped the family of five recover.
“The response has been amazing,” the elder Mrs. Clark told The Messenger. “We’d just like to thank area firefighters, the local National Guard, the people across the street who helped out during the fire and everyone else who has helped out.”
“Things have been coming in left and right,” she said. “Dustin’s National Guard unit in McKenzie held a car wash over the weekend and raised $1,100.”
Wendy Clark said her sister in Spring Hill spread the news of the fire nationwide and now a 50-foot tractor trailer loaded with donated furniture and appliances is on its way to Obion.
As for Carrie Clark, who was trapped in the house after the fire broke out and who narrowly escaped through a bathroom window, Wendy Clark said she has been released from the hospital. She suffered some burns and smoke inhalation, but is doing better now.
“She is excited about getting a new home,” Wendy Clark said.
Donations are being accepted at Obion City Hall as well as at Cash Tyme in Union City, located behind Subway. A special fund has also been set up at Reelfoot Bank in Union City — the Dustin Clark Fire Fund.
Donations of money, supplies and clothing will help the Clark family get back on their feet, but all their personal items will be impossible to replace.
Published in The Messenger 4.16.12

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