Efforts underway to help family rebuild after house fire

Published 9:15 am Saturday, February 12, 2022

Abby Pipkin and her son Mark of the Wing community are seeking help after a Monday, Jan. 31 fire saw their house burn to the ground from a heat lamp accident.

“Although we are super thankful no one was hurt, we also are dealing with the unfortunate reality that the house insurance had lapsed 15 days past the grace period when the fire happened. The family of Abby and Mark wanted to be completely transparent about not having insurance because that makes a huge difference in the ability to rebuild your life after a tragic accident like this,” Abby’s aunt Jan Kelley said.

A GoFundMe account has been set up online to help establish temporary and later permanent housing arrangements.

Nine-year-old Mark was in school at Pleasant Home at the time of the fire. When he was taken to see the house, he said, “I never thought when I left for school that my house would be gone when I got back, but it’s okay. At least my momma is alive. It was a beautiful day, but I think this just ruined my week.”

Mark lost a dog, a goldfish, his dinosaur collection, and his Christmas toys in the incident.

In addition to the GoFundMe page, the family has an address set up for those wishing to send Mark gift cards or a care package. It is his grandmother’s address: Mark Pipkin C/O Tonya Merrifield, 4405 Goldfinch Way, Crestview, FL 32539.

For more information visit the GoFundMe page at gofund.me/c5972214 or call Jan Kelley at 334-343-0104.

“We would like to thank all of the firefighters and first responders for coming to fight the fire. It has given us a different perspective on the definition of who true heroes are in our community,” Kelley said.