Oviedo couple loses almost everything in house fire, asks for community help

Thousands of dollars have been donated to the couple after their garage went up in flames

An Oviedo couple is asking for help after a big fire devoured the family’s garage. 81-year-old Les Kimball and 80-year-old Diane Kimball narrowly escaped their burning home early Wednesday, and now they’re left without some of their most prized possessions.

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – An Oviedo couple is asking for help after a big fire devoured the family’s garage.

81-year-old Les Kimball and 80-year-old Diane Kimball narrowly escaped their burning home early Wednesday, and now they’re left without some of their most prized possessions.

For eight years, they called the property in the Lutheran Haven community home.

[TRENDING: TRACK, MODELS, SATELLITE: Tropical Storm Fiona Moving Through Caribbean | DeBary lotto scratch-off winner loses $1K to DEO ‘overpayment’ | Become a News 6 Insider (it’s free!)]

“Not only was it our home, everything we own is in it,” Les said.

Dozens of emergency vehicles were on scene that morning. The Kimball’s watched as firefighters worked to put out the flames.

Les said he heard noises late Tuesday night and went to open the garage door. That’s when he said he was met with thick black smoke.

He quickly slammed the door shut.

“[I] went back, got my wife, and said we [have to] get out now,” he said.

In just the nick of time, he grabbed his glasses, his phone and ran outside before calling

911.

Les went to warn his neighbor, who’s home has also been damaged from the fire.

Tami DeVine, the Kimball’s daughter, said she couldn’t hold back tears when she got the call.

“I thank god that they got out in time it was so close it could have been a very different

phone call that we got,” DeVine said.

DeVine and her siblings live in various places across the country.

They booked flights almost immediately to be here for their parents, now they hope the community will continue to support them too.

“The community has just rallied around my parents the people who lived here in this retirement community but what is so beautiful is that they have done amazing work through the world in their lifetimes,” DeVine said.

The couple spent lots of time in Sierra Leone, West Africa doing missionary work.

“They adopted me, a little African girl from the floor of a mud hut in the most remote corner of the world like this is how big their heart,” DeVine said.

She said when you give love, you get it right back.

In just days they have received thousands of dollars in donations to replace what they can, even from friends overseas.

“They just lost everything and that’s really what’s so devastating they had so many awesome belongings in that home,” DeVine said.

Not everything can be replaced. DeVine said one of the items was a personal copy of the New Testament of the Bible translated into Loko, her tribal group’s language.

There were also several art pieces Les handcrafted from wood that he will now never see again.

However, donations can help them get back those daily necessities they also lost in the fire.

You can donate to their GiveSendGo here.


Get today’s headlines in minutes with Your Florida Daily:


About the Author:

Treasure joined News 6 at the start of 2021, coming to the Sunshine State from Michigan.