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Fire is latest hurdle for family

Annette Atkins played a big role in her family. She was the breadwinner - the only one with a job.

Until she became unemployed, things looked promising that soon she and her family would be back on their feet.

They still were recovering from a fire that destroyed their home a little more than two years ago when yet another fire has left the family homeless again and trying to cope.

A double-wide mobile home was donated to the family by a Thomson businessman after the fire on Kennedy Court. And now fire has destroyed it.

"I really don't know how we're going to make it now," said Ms. Atkins, who was laid off from H.P. Pelzer in Thomson just before Christmas. She had worked there for the past 3½ years.

One of her daughters, LaTonya Bailey, agreed, saying, "If it ain't one thing, it's another."

Miss Bailey, the mother of two children, ages 2 and 4, was living with Ms. Atkins at the time of the latest fire. Another daughter, Anjellica Atkins and her two children also were staying with the oldest Ms. Atkins.

"I thought we were getting back on our feet a little bit and now we've got to start all over again," said Ms. Atkins. "The grandkids had their toys donated to them this year for Christmas and now they don't have them because of the fire."

The family is in need of money, clothing, shoes and other items. Anyone wishing to make monetary or clothing donations can do so by taking them to the Thomson Fire Department Headquarters, located at 228 McCommons Street, said Thomson Fire Chief Rick Sewell.

Ms. Atkins' son, Jonathan, who is better known as "John-John" by his teammates on the basketball and football team at Thomson High School, alerted his mother to the fire. He was taken shopping for some new clothes and shoes on Sunday by THS assistant basketball coach Anthony Tutt.

"It's so nice that so many people are willing to help us," said Ms. Atkins. "I really do appreciate it."

Web posted on Thursday, January 01, 2009

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