Tupelo firemen reach out to fire victim

By JB Clark/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – One Tupelo woman lost almost everything in a house fire Sunday morning, but she didn’t know right away because she was hospitalized from an assault earlier that morning.
The Tupelo firemen who responded to the fire, Station 4 Truck 2, gathered up some money to help Shamonica Smith, 32, because all of her clothes and her children’s clothes were burned in the Debro Street fire.
“The reason we’re here today is we had what we felt like was an unusual situation,” said Capt. James Cunningham of the Tupelo Fire Department as he handed Smith a card and a $300 Walmart gift card Wednesday morning. “We have people that lose everything in house fires and you can’t put a monetary value on it but we felt like this particular case deserved a little extra attention, so the guys and I got together and managed to raise a little bit of money and help her get back on her feet.”
Cunningham said they were touched when they found a letter in the ashes written to Smith from her daughter that told a story he thinks led to the assault and fire.
A suspect is currently being charged with aggravated assault and arson but has not been found guilty.
Smith said the assault happened early Sunday morning and luckily, her children were not home at the time of the fire.
“In the fire, I lost my clothes and mainly everything in my bedroom and living room,” she said. “My kids, their clothes and everything had smoke damage. My car is bad damaged and my purse was in my car so I lost pretty much everything.”
Smith has bruising and stitches but said the pain was more emotional. She said knowing there are kind people in the community reaching out to her puts her at ease.
“The things I went through Sunday, I thought I was going to go through alone,” she said. “Just knowing and seeing that everyone cares really means a lot to me. I’m still hurting but I’ll get better and stronger day by day.”
jb.clark@journalinc.com