Donations, support abound for Nineveh fire victims

A charred frame is all that remains of a house in Nineveh.

A Johnson County woman is still in the hospital after she and her five-year-old daughter escaped from a burning home in Nineveh.

Sirena Abbott's two younger children died in the fire Friday evening. As Abbott fights for her life, friends and neighbors are trying to do what they can to help.

The investigation is continuing into what caused the house fire. One of the first priorities on Monday was to get fencing around the structure to make sure it is not a danger to anyone else. Plastic was also put down on the front bedroom on the second floor of the house, where the two children - ages six months and 18 months - died.

Neighbors who tried to help anyway they could Friday night are now trying to show support anyway they can. Signs and teddy bears are collecting along the road in front of the burned-out structure in downtown Nineveh.

Amanda and Katie Robertson live right across the street.

"We were both with the mother until the ambulance came and got her," Amanda said.

"She was coherent and she was talking, screaming, saying, 'I just want my babies!'," Katie remembered.

There had been some question about how long it took to shut off the gas line to the house the night of the fire. Vectren says it had someone on the scene in ten minutes, but the line could not be shut off at the house, so it had to be squeezed off at another location, which took 90 minutes.

"I saw it on television and it looked horrific, but it is totally different when you see it burnt down. It just hits home more," Candy Phillips observed.

Phillips does not live in the area. She just happened to be passing through and decided to stop and make a financial donation at The Crossing church.

"This way, money, they can get what they want and plus they have bills to pay. Not just material things, there's other things they will need money for," she said.

Phillips knows about loss firsthand. Her childhood home was burned down when she was two. She remembers what her family needed the most.

If you'd like to donate furniture, clothes or toys for Alexandria, you can drop off items at The Crossing Church at 8728 S. Nineveh Road in Princes Lakes.