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Fund set up for woman whose family died in W.Va. fire

December 13, 2006|by DAVE McMILLION

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - The Bedington Volunteer Fire Department has set up a fund - and started it with $5,000 - to help the woman whose family died in Saturday's deadly mobile home fire in Sportsman's Paradise get situated in a new home.

Crissanda Fravel is staying with her father, John Fravel, and fire department members felt it was important to help her find a permanent home.

"We don't want her to be worrying about where she's going to stay tomorrow night or two months from now," said Tommy Newcomb, deputy chief of the Bedington Volunteer Fire Department.

Killed in the fire were David "Spider" Clark Jr., 40, his wife Sheri McFillen Clark, 36, 18-month-old Kimberlee Fravel, who was Sheri Clark's granddaughter, and David Clark Jr.'s children, David Clark, 10, and Eyrn Clark, 5.

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Crissanda Fravel, who is Kimberlee Fravel's mother, was at work at the time of the fire.

Newcomb said he is not sure how much money will be needed to find Crissanda Fravel a home. Newcomb said he planned to get in touch with her father to find out where she would like to live.

Newcomb said the money raised through the fund could be used in a number of ways. Perhaps someone might donate a house for Crissanda Fravel, but it might need $50,000 worth of renovations, Newcomb said. Newcomb said he might be able to get the materials and the labor for the renovation donated and use the money from the fund to pay for household items like appliances.

The Bedington Volunteer Fire Department Clark Fund has been set up at the 167th Federal Credit Union in Martinsburg. The credit union serves the 167th Airlift Wing, the Air National Guard base at Eastern West Virginia Regional Airport.

Organizations or individuals wanting to make donations to the fund may do so at the credit union office at 1945 Edwin Miller Blvd., Newcomb said.

The Red Cross planned to collect donations to help the family pay for the funerals of the five people, but a Red Cross spokesman said Tuesday that has changed.

Red Cross spokesman Tony Coffey said the Red Cross did not want to be in a situation of determining how money would be split between members of the family if there were excess funds from money collected for funerals.

Instead the Red Cross has agreed to give $500 for each funeral, Coffey said. The Red Cross also has been helping Crissanda Fravel with clothing and food needs, Coffey said.

Investigators believe combustibles too close to a kerosene heater caused the fire in the mobile home.

The kerosene heater was in a small bedroom where the three children were sleeping, and it is believed that clothes were too close to the heater or a blanket might have been kicked off a bed and landed next to it, investigators said.

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