The Wyatts, known for their devotion to helping those in need and the community with the family-established HomeFront Christian Outreach, are now the ones in need after a fire destroyed their home Friday afternoon, Dec. 5.The fire was reported at 1:30 p.m. on the 100 block of Mount Pleasant Road in East Nottingham Township.
No one was home when the fire started and the cause is still unknown. According to homeowner Larry Wyatt, founder of HomeFront Christian Outreach, his teenage son returned home to find smoke coming from the home, so his girlfriend called 911 from a cell phone.
The Wyatt's four younger children were in school during the day and Wyatt's wife, Mandy, had later picked them up and dropped them off at their grandparents' home.
Upon receiving the call, the Chester County Fireboard advised Brush 21-which was in the process of clearing a utility pole fire in the Oxford Borough-of the house fire on Mount Pleasant Road. The Union Fire Co. No. 1 of Oxford was also alerted, along with two Engines from Station 12-West Grove and New London-and the Tanker from Station 8, of Rising Sun, Maryland. Also called were Robert Fulton Fire Company, Cochranville, Bart Township, Port Deposit, Medic 94 and the Chester County Fire Marshal.
Once on the scene, crews worked tirelessly to bring the fire under control-requesting the support and man-power of several Fire Stations from throughout the area.
According to Fire Chief Sam Terry, of the Union Fire Co. No. 1 of Oxford, it took about 30 minutes to bring the fire under control. "There was a lot of fire," he said.
Two firefighters from Station 21 were transported to the Jennersville Regional Hospital with minor burn injuries. Both were treated and later released.
Despite the hard work and diligence of the fire fighters, they were unable to save the Wyatt's home; however, the large trailer next to their house stood unharmed.
Stored in this trailer was the many donated items waiting to be distributed by HomeFront Christian Outreach.
This organization was started in 2005 by Larry Wyatt and has grown with the support of area churches to distribute food and other items to people and families in need. Just earlier this year the Wyatts had moved their operations from a warehouse nearby on Baltimore Pike into a large trailer on their lot to reduce expenses.
According to the HomeFront Christian Outreach mission statement on their website, they are "a Christian mission devoted to doing God's work [which] He has called us into. We are a witness in the Oxford, Pa. area ministering to them, providing them God's simple plan of salvation and offering them basic life necessary substance needs."
Wyatt had grown-up in the home and moved back with his family about three years ago after his father passed away.
"I'm just glad nobody was home," Wyatt said.
The HomeFront Christian Outreach-which hands out food, clothing, furniture and ministry to all those in need-found themselves on the other side of the spectrum, needing some help themselves-and the community firefighters were more than ready to answer the call.
Photo Courtesy of Union Fire Co. No. 1