Local family, devastated by fire, praises God, community

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The home that Jessica Turner and David Methvin shared was ravaged by fire in the early morning hours of Friday, March 15, 2024. (Jessica Turner)

VINEMONT, Ala. – Thursday night, March 14, was like any other night for Vinemont residents Jessica Turner and David Methvin – tucking three of their four children and two great-nieces into bed, saying their prayers and giving them a kiss on the forehead before wishing them sweet dreams. The decorated Cullman County Child Development Center teacher and her longtime partner never anticipated what was to come after the family was fast asleep. At 1:09 a.m. on Friday, March 15, a 911 call was placed alerting dispatch that the home Turner and Methvin shared was engulfed in flames, and the fire was spreading quickly.

“The fire started at the back of the house, and we are not sure yet what caused it as the investigator is still working on figuring that out,  but most likely something electrical,” Turner said. “David happened to fall asleep on the couch in the living room so he heard the fire crackling. That’s probably the only thing that saved our lives. I don’t think we would have gotten out if he had been in the bed.”

Every room of the home had some sort of devastating damage from the fiery heat; each was totally unsalvageable except for a portion of the master bedroom. Miraculously, the closet was relatively unharmed, saving the family’s important documents, forms and valuables. A few other notable items were able to be saved from the smoky debris – a  plastic tote and a family Bible.

“I had a plastic tote box in one room full of my late daughter Cheyenne’s things from the hospital and her pictures, the only memories I have of her,” Turner said emotionally. Her  daughter passed away in 2004 at one day old due to Renal Agenesis. “The entire room the box was in burned, but the box happened to still be there, not even melted. We also we able to keep an old Bible that David’s mother, who is now deceased, had given him years ago.”

The home was burned so severely, the couple’s insurance agency considered the property a total loss. The family is now housed in a local hotel until the financial settlement can be reached and rebuilding can begin. The couple envisions a newly built home on the same land as the lost home, the home they built their family in.

During the whole ordeal, Turner said, her faith in her community and God have never wavered. She also thanked the community she said has shown her such an amazing outpouring of support – beginning with family and stretching wide to strangers who have become family in her heart.

“After witnessing flames ravage our home, leaving behind almost nothing but ashes, we have found solace in the unexpected outpouring of support from our community. It has been a silver lining in the midst of our darkest hour.  Every act of kindness, whether big or small, has served as a beacon of hope in our time of need. From the donations of essential items and financial aid to the heartfelt messages of strangers offering assistance, we are overwhelmed by the generosity that surrounds us,” Turner said. “People have even cooked meals and delivered them to our hotel so that we aren’t living on fast food.  Everyone’s compassion has been a reminder that amidst tragedy, there is still goodness to be found. Our journey through this ordeal has opened our eyes to the incredible strength of our community.”

She continued, “While we may not be found in the pews every Sunday, we know that in the face of adversity, we have felt the presence of a higher power guiding us through the darkness. It has been a testament to the belief that even in our darkest moments, we are never truly alone. Until you’ve faced the devastation of a house fire firsthand, you simply cannot comprehend the profound impact it leaves behind.”

Donations for the Turner/Methvin family can be made at any Traditions Bank location. Those interested can simply request to make a donation to Jessica Turner.

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