Family of six loses everything
Fire destroys Versailles home

Wanda English Burnett


A Versailles family lost everything but their lives in a fire that raged through their home at 104 David Lane about 6:21 Saturday evening, November 27.

Chuck and Angel McRoberts had been gone from the home about 15-20 minutes when Angel received a call from her sister saying their home was going up in flames.

“She was hysterical,” Angel told the Osgood Journal. She said they were on their way to Madison where her husband participates in wrestling and had only left their residence just a few minutes before the phone call. “We were shocked,” she said.

They were more shocked to find everything they have worked for and accumulated was gone.

Fire investigator Chuck Gunter said the home was fully engulfed in flames when someone passing by called 911. The Versailles Fire Department responded quickly, but could not save the blazing structure. He said no one was injured in the fire.

Gunter said the fire was ruled accidental/electrical leaving the home a total loss. He estimated the damage to be around $80,000 for the home with more for the contents.

The Ripley County Chapter of the American Red Cross was called and was able to help the family with some vouchers for food, clothing and emergency shelter.

Delbert Felix, the local Red Cross office manager was on hand at the scene and told the Osgood Journal they were glad to assist. He made a few phone calls and found that the Hampton Inn at Batesville was great to work with. They gave the family a suite at the same cost as a room, so they could all be together.
Jack Wilker, board member of the local Red Cross, and his wife, Susan, also a member, assisted at the scene.

McDonald’s of Versailles graciously provided food and drinks for the firemen who were on the scene for several hours Saturday evening. Also assisting Versailles Fire Department were firemen from the Osgood Volunteer Fire Department. The Sunman Fire Co. assisted with their new trailer (purchased with grant money) filling air bottles for the firemen.

It was a collective group effort with Rescue 69 and Ripley County Medics on the scene along with the firemen.

Angel told the Osgood Journal three of the children didn’t know about the fire until Sunday evening. “They will be upset,” she noted, saying the boys had collected over 300 WWE wrestling figures that were completely melted. Her daughter, Cherrie Lynne, who is 3, loves shoes. “She will be upset about her shoes and princess dresses,” she said.

Three of the children attend South Ripley Elementary School: Bailey McRoberts and Logan Jackson, both in the second grade; and Kalum Jackson, who is in kindergarten.

The McRoberts attend the Holton Christian Church, where their pastor, Bob McCreary said anyone wanting to donate items is welcome to bring them there. Those interested in helping the McRoberts family in any way can contact Wilma Myers at 689-6844 and she will coordinate getting the items to the church. Vickie Wilson can also be contacted at 689-5623.

Myers said she felt so bad for the family. “They had just been Christmas shopping on Friday and lost those presents in the fire too,” she noted.

The McRoberts family lost everything in a fire Saturday evening while on their way to Madison. The home is a total loss due to the damages according to fire investigators. The family had been gone only a few minutes when they received a phone call about the fire which was called in by someone passing by the residence.