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Their home was gone, along with almost all of the belongings and memories. But the thing that seemed to hurt Miranda Gadberry the most was the fire that consumed her home on Christmas Eve also destroyed her daughter's Christmas gifts.
Gadberry, her husband, David Newcomb, and the couple's 2-year-old daughter, Breanna Newcomb, were visiting Gadberry's father, John on Christmas Eve. At about 8 p.m., a family member called and told them their Long Branch Road mobile home was on fire.
Gadberry's initial thought was that she was glad her husband was with her.
"David usually stays at home to look after the house but he was with us this time."
The thought was particularly scary for Gadberry. Her stepmother, Laura M. Gadberry, died in a Knifley house fire on Oct. 12, 2006.
According to a Kentucky State Police report, the fire started at around 4 a.m. EST on Oct. 12 on Elk Horn Road, 11 miles east of Columbia. Knifley Area Volunteer Fire Department was the first to respond.
Gadberry, 34, and Todd L. Judd, 23, of Knifley died from smoke inhalation, according to Kentucky State Police. Their bodies were recovered from the fire and sent to Louisville for autopsies. At least two other people were in the home, but they made it to safety.
The home, a two-story frame house, was completely destroyed in the fire.
On Christmas Eve, those memories came flooding back as Gadberry watched her home burn.
Seventeen Taylor County Volunteer firefighters responded with three trucks and were on the scene for about two hours. Campbellsville/Taylor County Rescue also responded.
Newcomb and Gadberry's home was a complete loss.
"There's nothing salvageable," Gadberry said. "I was just able to get some of my daughter's clothes."
The fire is still under investigation. Gadberry said fire department officials believe the fire started around the front door.
While Breanna's Christmas gifts burned up in the fire, Gadberry said her daughter still got to celebrate Christmas,
"I thank God the fire department and police were able to help give my girl a Christmas."
The Fire Department provided a jacket, stick horse, games, a puzzle, baby dolls, a ball and some clothes through its Toys for Kids program. Campbellsville Police Officers delivered the gifts.
While upset about the loss of her home and belongings, Gadberry said she is thankful at how things turned out.
"I just want to thank everybody for giving their hearts at a time like this. Items can be replaced. Family cannot."
- Staff Writer James Roberts can be reached at 465-8111 Ext. 226 or by e-mail at email@example.com.