Fort Payne, AL – A Fort Payne police officer’s home burned to the ground early Christmas Eve morning, destroying everything he and his family owned.
The fire broke out at Fort Payne Police Sergeant JC Brown’s residence at approximately 4 a.m., WHNT reported.
He and his wife, Amy, were able to escape the blaze with their children, but their home and its contents were a complete loss.
The couple has two sons, ages, 17 and 13, and one daughter, age 10, the Fort Payne Police Department (FPPD) said in a Facebook post.
The cause of the blaze has not been released.
“Please keep one of our own, Sgt. JC Brown, in your thoughts and prayers today,” the agency wrote alongside a photo of the charred remains of the family’s home. “They have temporary housing but will be needing essential supplies and clothes in the coming days.”
The department asked the public to donate basic clothing items to the family, and set up a drop-off location at the police dispatch station.
The outpouring of support has been immense, according to the FPPD.
Jody Smith, who lives in the area, said that the tight-knit community has banded together to help Sgt. Brown and his family.
"I know they're devastated with their 3 children to not be able to have their Christmas, so we're gonna try to help them every way we can to make their Christmas," Smith told WAAY. “We're a very close neighborhood and try to stick together to help each other regardless of what the need is…I know this community would do the same for me.”
A GoFundMe page has also been verified by the department as being a valid fundraiser for Sgt. Brown and his family.
The online fundraising effort had raised over $12,300 as of early Christmas morning.