St. Elmo Man loses Wheelchair and Home in Fire

As firefighters from multiple agencies struggled to contain a massive house fire in Saint Elmo, the homeowner and his family watched helplessly from their van parked nearby. Still1222_00000

“I feel like I lost everything. Pictures, clothes, I had it [house] paid for and everything,” homeowner Eddy Leverete  said from the driver’s side of his van. He’s wheelchair-bound and can’t walk.

When the family noticed smoke coming from one of the bedrooms, Leverete’s father-in-law quickly helped him out of the house to safety, but they had to leave the wheelchair behind.

Leverete said his son’s autism medication was also inside the house when it erupted in flames, along with groceries they recently picked up for their Christmas Day meal.

Still1222_00001“The good news is everybody’s safe. Everything can be replaced, but it’s still hard,” Leverete said.

Saint Elmo Volunteer Fire Department was the first crew on the scene but called for backup from Tillman’s Corner, Seven Hills, and Fowl River.

When News 5 last checked around 9:45 p.m. on Tuesday night, crews were still on the scene.

Leverete said they planned to call the Red Cross for help, but don’t know how they’ll get their feet back on the ground.

“I just don’t know yet. I’m going to call my sister and see if we can bunk up there with them, but we don’t want to leave yet….not while all of this is going on,” Leverete said.

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