Nineveh rallies around family after tragic fire

The community is showing its support for the Abbott family.
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The outpouring of support continues for the family who lost a mother and two babies in a fire in Johnson County last month. 

Every three weeks Glenda Leonard comes to Head to Toes Salon in Nineveh for a trim. 

"Yeah, I'm a regular. That's right," said Glenda, who has put her hair style in Darlene Mudd's hands for a long time. "If we tell, you'll know our age," said Mudd, "So we can't tell."

But this cut is different. 

"I just felt like I needed to do something," said Mudd, who is also the salon manager.

Ten days ago fire consumed a house-turned apartment, and six-month-old John Abbott and his 18-month-old sister Haley both died.  Their mother Sirena survived after a rescue attempt, but only for a few days. 

"We need to help the family all that we can.  And it's really been a terrible tragedy that Nineveh's had," said Leonard as she was getting her hair cut.

So her $18 haircut - in fact, all the cuts this Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday - will benefit the survivors. 

 "If we can do haircuts to help, then we are more than happy to do haircuts," said Mudd. 

Bringing the situation even closer to home is the proximity of the tragedy.  The salon is located directly across the street from the house that burned. 

"I think it's one of the worst tragedies we've ever had here," said Mudd.  "We've had fires and different things go on, but I think it's the worst.  And when you have small children, why, it makes it even worse."

That explains the outpouring of support Sunday night.  More than 100 people prayed in front of the house, encircling Chris Abbott and surrounding him with love.

"It means the world to me that everybody's behind me: the community, the church, my family," Abbott said after the prayer vigil.

He was on his way home from work at the time of the blaze.

"It's very hard that I wasn't able to save my two kids and my wife. That's the hardest part. I can never hold my kids again," he said.

So now an entire community is mourning, and turning something as common as a haircut into an uncommon show of support.

The funerals will be held at The Crossing Church in Nineveh Dec. 7th.  Donations on behalf of the family are also being accepted by the church.

The church is planning a fundraiser to help out Sirena's husband and daughter. That's set for Dec. 20.

A trust fund has been established for Chris Abbott and his daughter. You can make a donation at any Mutual Savings Bank to the Abbott Fund.