When Disaster Strikes: White House, Tenn. Community Bands Together to Support Local Family After House Fire
A franchisee couple was left awestruck and deeply humbled by a community’s response to a sudden tragedy, with the franchise system leaping in to assist during a member of the Office Pride family’s darkest hour.
On the night of Jan. 3, a house fire broke out in a residential area off the intersection of Highway 76 and 31 W in the town of White House, Tennessee, a suburb of Nashville. While the owners of the house, franchisees Brandon and Kristen King, were thankfully not at home at the time of the fire, the family’s beloved dog Bono was trapped inside. A good Samaritan at the gas station was the first to see the fire and quickly found a fire extinguisher before jumping in to fight the fire on his own. In a stroke of luck or divine intervention, a White House fire truck was driving through the intersection and noticed the individual as the call to respond to a house fire came through from dispatch.
Upon hearing the news, Brandon and Kristen King immediately rushed home. Kristen became the first and only one to make it to see the home in flames. On his way home, Brandon was involved in a car accident and was rushed to the hospital.
A firefighter was able to rescue Bono from a back bedroom of the home, and thanks to a K-9 oxygen unit on the truck that was only donated to the fire department a week earlier, was able to save the dog’s life.
“We are incredibly blessed, and even in the face of tragedy, we’ve been able to rely on our community, both at home and in the larger Office Pride system,” said Kristen. “We may have lost many tangible items from the fire, but we have been blanketed by love and support. On behalf of Brandon and myself, there aren’t enough words to thank each and every one of you who has helped us get back on our feet after this tragedy.”
After learning about the fire and the destruction at the Kings’ home, businesses and individuals both in the area and across the region immediately stepped up to help in incredible ways.
The local Hampton Inn, current “home” to Brandon and Kristen, sent their maintenance man to board up the house after Kristen expressed concern about glass from the blown-out windows and asked for information on a business that could board up the house. That same Hampton Inn employee, a close friend of the firefighter who saved Bono, also volunteered his services, saying, “You all are like family, I was happy to do it,” and refused Kristen’s offer of payment.
Fellow franchise owners of Office Pride Commercial Cleaning Services from around the country quickly began a GoFundMe account to assist the Kings with the financial aspect of their losses, quickly raising more than $10,000 in just one week and is expected to continue to grow.
Kristen and Brandon have both expressed their gratitude to their community and to their friends, family and business associates as they work to rebuild after the fire.
“What we can take away from this experience is that people are truly incredible,” said Kristen. “We never could’ve imagined this kind of response and we are humbled. Bono, Brandon and myself are all doing much better.”
To donate to help the Kings, please visit: https://www.gofundme.com/kings-fire-recovery.