Alabama Watch volunteer loses everything in house fire

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 8, 2006

Tara Kyser, of Kinston, Ala., and her family, lost their entire home and their car in a fire last week.

Kyser is formerly of Luverne and is the coordinator of a new branch of Alabama Watch, entitled &#8220Kids' Watch.” Kyser had been the guest speaker at the Feb. 7 Luverne Kiwanis Club meeting and had told the story of how her three-month-old son, Steven, had been found dead in a daycare center after being placed on his stomach on a soft pillow.

Kyser's son's death was originally ruled a SIDS death, but new information determined that Baby Steven had suffocated.

The daycare center is still in operation.

Just last week, more tragedy hit the family as a house fire consumed all of their belongings, including all of Kyser's husband's dialysis equipment, according to Sue Blackmon, vice president and cashier of the First Citizens Bank of Luverne. Blackmon, who is a member of the Luverne Kiwanis Club, had invited Kyser and Alabama Watch Director Barbara Evans for the Feb. 7 program.

&#8220The fire completely destroyed their home,” Blackmon said. &#8220The only thing that was left standing was the front wall of the house.”

The Kysers have two children, Ethan, 13, and Jordan, who is eight. Blackmon said that the children awoke and saw the fire and alerted their parents.

&#8220The only thing Tara said they saved was a plastic storage box full of pictures and two Bibles,” Blackmon said. &#8220She couldn't believe the plastic storage box didn't melt, so it's a miracle that all of those pictures were inside of it and that they made it through the fire.”

The Kysers' story aired on WSFA the day after the fire.

As of Monday, the family was staying in an Elba motel, which had been paid up for three days.

Blackmon said that the &#8220Tara Kyser Fund” account had been opened at the First Citizens Bank of Luverne and, at this point, would stay open indefinitely.

Kyser has family in Luverne including Joyce Bozeman, her grandmother, Cynthia Kennedy, her step-mother, and Emma Kennedy, her sister.

For more information, please contact Sue Blackmon at the First Citizens Bank of Luverne.