A local family was rocked by tragedy Saturday as a fire ravaged their home located on Ridgeway Road, nestled on the Walker/Chattooga County line in Northwest Georgia. Walker County firefighters responded to the house fire but the blaze left the home a complete loss. The home was located just two houses onto the Walker County line and belonged to Garrett and Amanda Brown and their children, Dawson age 14 and Anna Grace age 11 of Trion.
The Brown family are a Trion staple. Garrett has been teaching and coaching in the Trion Schools for 18 years. Residents of the quaint mill village say “you cannot go to a Trion event without seeing the couple.” Amanda runs the concession stand at home games and Garrett is always close by, either coaching or helping out, as he was this past weekend selling hot dogs at the home basketball game. According to many locals, whatever Trion needs, the Browns do.
Saturday means “ball” for the Browns and this past Saturday was no different. Garrett was coaching Anna Grace’s team while Amanda was watching Dawson’s game when the phone call came in telling them their house was on fire. The house was built in 1959 and had been Garrett’s grandparents homestead. The family rushed home to find a thin trail of smoke coming out from a bathroom. For the next excruciating hour, family and friends gathered to support the Browns as they watched their home slowly become engulfed in flames. “Fifty people were there when it was burning,” Amanda said. “There is nothing left in the house, I was able to save some of the important pictures.”
Amanda went on to say, “we would like to thank everyone for all the prayers, clothes and money. Not to mention the thirty-plus people that have showed up the past two days to help us save what little we could. We’ve had people helping us day and night the past two days. People can say what they want about small towns, but I’m here to say we live in the best one.”
The loss is compounded by the fact that the family did not have insurance on the home. They were in the process of changing insurance companies and were without active coverage. Amanda said she will now be an advocate for making sure everyone has home owners insurance.
A relief account for the family has been set up at United Community Bank where donations can be made to help ease the loss experienced by the Browns and their young children. Just weeks after Christmas and still in the dead of winter, the Browns are facing the daunting task of rebuilding their lives from scratch, but they remain optimistic. While the fire was devastating and traumatic, leaving a loss that will be felt for years to come, Amanda was quick to point out, “Saturday ball saved us.”
“We’re thankful that nobody was hurt or died,” added Garrett.
According to reports, the call for the fire came in and firefighters responded around 1:40 PM on Saturday. Walker County Emergency Services along with Walker State Prison Fire Department responded to the fire. The Chattooga County fire department was not dispatched.
The fire is currently under investigation.