Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, January 23, 2015

Firefighters present check to survivors of fire

Jack Thompson (left), president of the Chattanooga Firefighters Association , Local 820 shakes Gary Patterson’s hand after handing him a check for $5,900. The check was just part of the money raised by the community to support their three grandchildren. - (Photo by Bruce Garner)

On the morning of Nov. 26, 2014 (the day before Thanksgiving), fire raced through the home at 220 Houser Street. The three children living there - Rebecca, 10; Haley, 9; and Mark, 8 - escaped with minor injuries. Tragically, both of their parents, Candy and Randall Lockhart, did not get out. Despite heroic efforts by Chattanooga firefighters to remove them from the burning structure, both parents succumbed to severe injuries.

The children are now living with their grandparents, Susan and Gary Patterson. When word about this tragedy spread, the community rallied to support the family. The Chattanooga Firefighters Association, Local 820 set up an account at First Tennessee Bank to collect cash donations. This week, Local 820 president Jack Thompson announced that a total of $41,900 has been raised for this family. Thompson presented a check for $5,900 to the Pattersons to help with their added expenses. The remaining $36,000 will be divided into three educational trusts for the children to help them attend college.

Thompson thanked Pastor Ray Williams and the One Accord Community Church for spearheading a drive to collect clothes and other necessities, and off-duty firefighters for doing repair and renovation work on the grandparents’ house to accommodate the addition of the children. Most of all, Thompson said he wanted to thank the community at large. “We offer our gratitude and appreciation to the citizens of our great city for their amazing generosity,” he said.

After receiving the check, an emotional grandfather, surrounded by his grandchildren, offered his own thanks to the firefighters and everyone who helped in some way. “We’re grateful to the firefighters who risked their lives trying to save our daughter and son-in-law,” said Patterson, adding that he and his wife are grateful for the support they’ve received from fire, police, Red Bank Elementary, and the community at large.

Source: Chattanooga Fire Department