Two families left homeless by fire

blanche wheeler trailer

Blanche Wheeler’s trailer was a total loss.

Published: Monday, February 4, 2013 at 11:14 AM.

In the wake of a pair of weekend fires, two families are struggling to survive.

A Carrabelle fire Friday totally destroyed a trailer belonging to Blanche Wheeler, and an Eastpoint fire Sunday morning did the same to the home of Martha Ann and Joseph Putnal.

On Friday afternoon, Wheeler, 72, was in the kitchen of her home at 160 Woodill Road when her 4-year-old grandson, Jaden Bryce, rushed in and told her to leave the trailer because it was on fire. Wheeler and the boy barely managed to escape the blaze, which killed two pet birds caged inside.

The single-wide trailer was a total loss. Deborah Jamison, with the State Fire Marshall’s Office, said the fire originated on the porch, and has been ruled accidental. The Wheelers said they believe little Jaden may have started the blaze while playing.

“At least my little grandson didn’t get burned up,” said Wheeler.

Wheeler shared her home with Jaden and his older brother and sister, John Michael Neel, 14, and Ashley Jo Neel 10; children of Blanche’s son Bodie who lives in Carrabelle. Blanche Wheeler’s younger son Trent, 24, also lived in her trailer.

After the blaze, Wheeler found herself with no purse, no identification and no medication. Her prescriptions were filled on Saturday.

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