The Giving Continues For Blount Co. Family

By: Stephen McLamb Email
By: Stephen McLamb Email

Knoxville (WVLT) One week after a fire took the lives of four children in Blount County, family and friends gathered today for graveside services.

And as the family said its final farewell, area businesses and people throughout the community promised not to forget the family down the road.

WVLT Volunteer TV's Stephen McLamb brings you the story.

A week after the fire, Ross and Amanda Debuty along with friends and the community came to say their last goodbyes at Smith Mortuary.

Bishop Dwight Anderson says, "there's been a lot of outpouring of support by family, by friends, and by the community and they seem to have a peace about them."

14 year old Mandy Mason, 12 year old J.T. Debuty, 10 year old Sinjin Smith, and 7 year old Shelbea Debuty died in a house fire at their home off Miser Station Road near Friendsville.

The community came together raising more than $35, 000 dollars and many of those who tried to save the children came to the funeral.

So will the community support now end? Don't bet on it.

Justin Ellis says, "I hope not. It seems since I've lived in Blount county for the last ten years it's a close knit family."

Ellis manages the local co-op in Maryville.

He says not only employees but his vendors have been helping out.

"Liberty's donating clothes, Carhart's donating, clothes, and Redwing's donating some shoes. Our employees here have actually purchased some of our clothes and went through and given to them."

Ellis hopes to do more.

"I would really love to and get involved in whatever we can as a store and as individuals as well. It would be a shame to do just this small part and forget about them down the line."

As the family says goodbye, their pastor says today they have one request.

Anderson continues, "they're prayers will be of what's most benefit."

Officials with Anderson Lumber plan on helping the Debuty family in the future.

At this time, they plan on going through the family to see how they can best help.

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