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GoFundMe set up for veteran who lost home in Christmas Eve fire

Christmas eve fire USMC veteran's home (GoFundMe)
December 30, 2022

Neighbors have set up a GoFundMe account for a Whitley County man whose home burned on Christmas Eve.

Charles Teklinski told the Times-Tribune that he was awakened by the smoke alarm in his home on Majestic View Drive and was able to call Whitley County 911 at 1:22 a.m. Saturday morning.

Teklinski then called his neighbors, Ronnie and Missy Sullivan, who came right away to assist. He was able to escape with his six dogs and pet snake, Mango, although his fish couldn’t be rescued.

The Marine and Navy veteran said he was able to limit the flames’ spread with a fire extinguisher to the point that he could retrieve some important items from the home, at which point Woodbine firefighters started to arrived by around 1:35 a.m. — within 15 minutes on “icy cold, nasty roads.

“Even though it was a disaster, everything went right,” Teklinski said.

It took some two hours for the fire department to clear the scene, which had water damaged in addition to the fire damage mostly to the foyer, roof and into the kitchen and living room. The fire appears to have started near the wood stove.

“Right now it’s a total loss,” Teklinski said of his home, adding that he doesn’t have homeowner’s insurance. “We are calling around local churches, Department of Veterans Affairs, local VFW and such. I have no family of my own and distant family members, none in Kentucky.”

In the meantime, Teklinski is staying with the Sullivans, who have started a GoFundMe page ( for him with a goal of $5,000 and/or materials to help rebuild.

“They have been nothing but nice to me and my dogs with no expectations,” Teklinski said, calling the Sullivans “very special people.”


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