911 operator takes call reporting her own house fire
BY JERRY FINK World Correspondent
Monday, January 14, 2013
EUFAULA — A McIntosh County 911 operator took the emergency call about 2:50 a.m. from a man reporting that a neighbor’s rural mobile home was on fire.
Following procedures, Deborah Hudspeth transferred the call to the Sheriff’s Office and stayed on the line to make sure the call went through.
As the caller described the location, Hudspeth realized that the burning home was hers.
“He told the Sheriff’s Office that the mobile home was owned by a lady with some little dogs,” said Hudspeth, who has been a part-time 911 operator since March.
Her four small Chinese cresteds — a hairless breed — died in the fire, as did a pet cat.
Hudspeth, who is disabled, lost everything in the Dec. 30 fire and has been living with her sister southeast of Eufaula.
Her mobile home was on a site north of town. She had lived there since 2006. The property was not insured.
Police Chief Don Murray issued a plea to the community to help Hudspeth, and many people have responded with clothing, food and money.
“I want to thank everyone in the community who has helped me,” said Hudspeth, who lived alone in the mobile home with her pets. “There have been so many. Several churches took up collections for me.”
Hudspeth, 63, has had offers of temporary places to live until she can replace the home that burned, but she will stay with her sister for now.
Many people have offered furniture, but she can’t accept large items until she has a permanent home.
She now has all the clothes and personal items she needs, she said.