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Vicksburg family starts fundraiser to recover from house fire



'Catman' Tommy Smith lost everything when his camper burned to the ground last week (credit: Marie Parker)

A Vicksburg family is asking for help getting their disabled father back on his feet after a devastating fire.

On the night of Monday, Nov. 8, Tommy ‘Catman’ Smith woke to find that his home was ablaze. He grabbed a fire extinguisher only to be burned by the hot metal canister. With the blaze growing out of control in his small lakeside trailer, Smith had no choice but to jump to safety, 19 feet below, in just his underwear.

“Other than just three burns, smoke inhalation, and a hip injury from jumping, he survived!” Smith’s daughter Marie Parker said. “We consider it a miracle it was not worse.”

Both Vicksburg and Warren County Fire Departments responded to the blaze, but by the time they arrived the trailer was fully involved.  Catman lost everything except his motorcycle in the fire.

“If you know my father, you know he is a bit eccentric and loves living out in nature. He wants to live out what he has of the rest of his life on his own property on the lake and I’m determined to help him find stability and peace again,” Smith wrote on the GoFundMe page she set up for her father.

“We are slowly pulling together the pieces of his life and hope you will help us reach his goal of buying a used camper or trailer so he can be independent again.”

Click here to go to the fundraiser.


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Vicksburg Daily News