Donations sought for family who lost son and home in fire

CLEARFIELD, Ky (WKYT) - The heavy smoke from an early morning fire was visible for miles on Thursday. Relatives living near the home say they knew something was wrong.

"We saw the State Police go by and then we saw the ambulance," said Shelli Knipp.

Knipp followed those emergency workers to the home of James and Lottie Pennington. James is her husband's cousin.

"I found out that there was still a child in there and I found out that it was Edward," Knipp said.

James and Lottie had pulled their daughters, Ashley, Jessica, and Amy, from the burning home and taken them to a neighbor's house. But Knipp says their son Edward never made it out.

The Penningtons were taken away in ambulances to be treated for their burns. Knipp says Ashley and Amy have been released and are at their grandmothers.

James and Lottie are still in critical condition at UK Hospital. Jessica is at Shriner's Hospital in Cincinnati.

With most of the family in Lexington Shriner's has a request for Jessica. They're asking for Christmas cards and decorations for the young girl.

"Her parents aren't there with her so she's going to need a lot of care and support for when she does wake," said Knipp.

Knipp is helping to collect donations and presents for the two girls who are out of the hospital. She's also collecting presents for Lottie's 14-year-old son who didn't live at the home but did have all of his presents there.

"They lost everything, their home, their clothing, their toys, it's not just Christmas we're concerned about," she said.

People have already started stepping forward. The teachers at Rodburn Elementary School, where three of the children attended, are collecting clothes.

The county judge executive established a fund at Whitaker Bank in Morehead to help the family.

Knipp says all of the support now is great, but this family will need help for months to come.

"To be separated during Christmas and not be able to attend your son's funeral, I can't imagine," she said.

Anyone wanting to drop off donations are asked to take them to 59 Clearfield Hill, Clearfield, KY, 40313.

Christmas cards or decorations can be mailed to Jessica Pennington at 3229 Burnette Avenue, Cincinnati OH, 45229-3095

To give money to the fund for the Pennington family at Whitaker Bank mail donation to c/o Terry Ensor, P.O. Box 859, Morehead, KY. 40351.

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