Christmas Tree Burns Down Families Possessions

A local Erwin family lost nearly everything they own when their Christmas tree caught on fire.

Forty Eight year old Eugene Willard says he wanted to do something special for his five year old son Kyle.  So he had his daughters go out and buy a live christmas tree.  Willard's daughter says Kyle loved the tree and lights so much he convinced his father to leave the light on overnight.  Willard never thought his decision would nearly cost them their lives.

On December 29 Willard was surprised to see Kyle jumping on his bed trying to wake him.  He soon heard the fire alarm and began to try to get them outside.  His first effort, throwing a chair through a window, failed forcing Willard to grab Kyle and head for the back door.  By the time they arrived Willard say the door knob was nearly putty, but he grabbed the iron hot knob anyways.  Making their way outside Willard quickly saw everything he had worked for literally going up in flames.

Fire personell present on the night say the mobile home burned down in less than five minutes.  Making every second count when it came to escaping from the fire.  While they made it out with their lives....not much else survived.

The local community has set up several ways to help out the Willard family.  You can send money through pay-pal and other on-line money services.  The e-mail address is  The community is also taking donations at the Erwin volunteer fire department on Saturday the tenth from 9am until 2 pm.