Teachers band together to help families devastated by Christmas Day fire in Franklin Township


FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, Ind. – A fire on Christmas ripped through three homes in Franklin Township.

Christmas lights line the driveway and snowmen are still set up in the front yard of what’s left of a home in the Southern Ridge neighborhood.

“I get to see him every day so the fact that his family is experiencing this. They’re just a close family to my heart. It’s hard to hear about,” said Adrienne Haynes, a teacher at Adams Elementary School.

Haynes teaches a first grader who lives in the home where the fire started. Theresa Andis teaches his brother.

“He is a very energetic, sweet, precious little thing,” said Andis.

The family lost everything in the fire, which spread to homes on each side. Haynes and Andis realized there are other students who go to their school in one of the other homes.

“We knew we had to do something, so we started that phone tree of who’s going to do what. What should we do? Just coming together,” said Andis.

So far, they’ve collected clothes, toys and gift cards.  They’ve also started a GoFundMe.  In just a few days, friends and strangers have donated more than $5,000 for these families now dealing with this Christmas Day fire.

“I’ve always loved this township–the people always seem to come together at the right moment,” said Andis.

Firefighters say the fire started in a chimney and quickly spread.  Thankfully, no one was hurt. Since Christmas Day, teachers haven’t talked to their students but did talk with their parents and told them that they’re doing what they can to help.

 “They’re so overwhelmed at this moment and just trying to keep everyone safe. They were so grateful and thankful that the community wants to help them,” said Andis.

This year has been beyond challenging. Classrooms have moved to living rooms and a greater importance has been focused on family health.  Through all the changes, these teachers say their purpose remains the same, help kids and this is part of it.

“Our main job has been to show no matter what you’re going through you need to be there for people and show kindness no matter what. So, yes that is what I think it’s about,” said Haynes.

Click here if you’re interested in helping.

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