Family celebrates milestone despite tragedy - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Couple celebrates 20th wedding anniversary despite tragedy

Posted: Updated:
Darryl Stephens and his wife were celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary over lunch when their condo was destroyed by fire Tuesday. (abc3340.com) Darryl Stephens and his wife were celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary over lunch when their condo was destroyed by fire Tuesday. (abc3340.com)
Homewood Fire and Rescue battling a fire at Vulcan Park Condominiums Tuesday. (abc3340.com) Homewood Fire and Rescue battling a fire at Vulcan Park Condominiums Tuesday. (abc3340.com)

Some Homewood families may have to look for new homes after a fire started in the Vulcan Park Condos' along Valley Avenue. No one was hurt, but eight units are damaged, some worse than others. The blaze even led to an anniversary one couple will never forget.

"My wife went out to eat about 12 and apparently it caught fire while we were gone." Darryl Stephens and his wife were celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary over lunch. Their special day, tarnished by fire. They lost everything.. except what counts. "My son was in school, my wife and I were out of it. So we got our life and that's the most important thing."

"The first crew to arrive on the scene saw heavy smoke. We laid lines and began to attack the fire." Homewood Fire Chief John Bresnan says the entire 1720 building at Vulcan Park Condominiums is damaged. The 8 units affected are impacted by either smoke, water or heat damage. Stephens says he was told the fire may have started in his apartment. Stephens says ."It started in an upstairs bedroom, maybe in the closet area or over where the TV sits."

Resident Chris Francis says "Luckily, I was at work and got a call the place was on fire, came home and luckily it didn't get all the way to our place. There's smoke damage and everything, but luckily nothing got burned." Many residents now counting their blessings.

As for the Stephens, fire didn't take all their joy. The American Red Cross helped Darryl surprise his wife Cynthia.. with a special anniversary cake at a motel. Cynthia says "I woke up excited about my anniversary and then the tragedy came. It was a roller coaster at first, but when I looked into his eyes, I knew everything was going to be okay."

The couple is now embarking on a new future. Daryl Stephens says "We'll just make more memories and go for higher heights and we'll be better for this. I'm still in love."

Chief Bresnan did not know if all the units were occupied. The Red Cross says at least four families have requested assistance so far. So far, the cause of the fire has not been determined.

  • Central Alabama NewsMore>>

  • More guilty pleas expected in multi-state dog fighting probe

    More guilty pleas expected in multi-state dog fighting probe

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 12:08 PM EDT2014-04-23 16:08:05 GMT
    MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Seven of the 14 people arrested in a multi-state dog fighting investigation have filed court papers saying they want to plead guilty. Jennifer McDonald of Fairburn, Ga.; Michael Martin of Auburn, Ala.; and Ricky Van Le of Biloxi, Miss., are the latest to file papers in federal court in Montgomery. Four others previously sent paperwork saying that they want to change their pleas to guilty. They are Lawrence Watford of Adel, Ga.; William Oneil Edwards of Elba, Ala.; DeMo...More >>
    MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Seven of the 14 people arrested in a multi-state dog fighting investigation have filed court papers saying they want to plead guilty. Jennifer McDonald of Fairburn, Ga.; Michael Martin of Auburn, Ala.; and Ricky Van Le of Biloxi, Miss., are the latest to file papers in federal court in Montgomery. Four others previously sent paperwork saying that they want to change their pleas to guilty. They are Lawrence Watford of Adel, Ga.; William Oneil Edwards of Elba, Ala.; DeMo...More >>
  • Parents remember daughter who died in ATV accident

    Parents remember daughter who died in ATV accident

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 7:54 PM EDT2014-04-22 23:54:01 GMT
    Gracie Abbott's parents never imagined that an Easter Sunday gathering would end the way it did. They tell me their daughter rode ATVs all time. And when they got the call that she was had been in an accident they were sure it wasn't that serious. But it was serious. "I talked to her. I told her that we were proud of her. I held her," said Sharon Abbott.Abbott says she's almost sure her daughter Gracie was gone at that point. She says Gracie's eyes were already fixated and dilated by the time...More >>
    Gracie Abbott's parents never imagined that an Easter Sunday gathering would end the way it did. They tell me their daughter rode ATVs all time. And when they got the call that she was had been in an accident they were sure it wasn't that serious. But it was serious. "I talked to her. I told her that we were proud of her. I held her," said Sharon Abbott.Abbott says she's almost sure her daughter Gracie was gone at that point. She says Gracie's eyes were already fixated and dilated by the time...More >>
  • Auburn University offering $10,000 reward for tips about campus threats

    Auburn University offering $10,000 reward for tips about campus threats

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 6:16 PM EDT2014-04-22 22:16:00 GMT
    Auburn University and police are offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of those responsible for recent threats made on campus. Auburn University and police are offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of those responsible for recent threats made on campus.
    After two incidents of threats within the past week that have disrupted classes and campus operations, Auburn University is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of those responsible.More >>
    After two incidents of threats within the past week that have disrupted classes and campus operations, Auburn University is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of those responsible.More >>
  • Anniston - Gadsden Area NewsMore>>

  • Gadsden man found with over 600 pornographic images and videos, arrested on child porn charges

    Gadsden man found with over 600 pornographic images and videos, arrested on child porn charges

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 4:11 PM EDT2014-04-23 20:11:36 GMT
    Pablo Gabriel UrbinaPablo Gabriel Urbina
    A Gadsden man was arrested Tuesday on child pornography charges following an extensive investigation by several law enforcement agencies, the Etowah County Sheriff's Office said.More >>
    A Gadsden man was arrested Tuesday on child pornography charges following an extensive investigation by several law enforcement agencies, the Etowah County Sheriff's Office said.More >>
  • Search for Riverside man in Logan Martin Lake enters day 3

    Search for Riverside man in Logan Martin Lake enters day 3

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:31 AM EDT2014-04-23 15:31:06 GMT
    Various law enforcement agencies are assisting in the search for a Riverside man who went missing in Logan Martin Lake. (abc3340.com)Various law enforcement agencies are assisting in the search for a Riverside man who went missing in Logan Martin Lake. (abc3340.com)
    The search continues for a Riverside man who fell from a fishing boat in Logan Martin Lake on Sunday.More >>
    The search continues for a Riverside man who fell from a fishing boat in Logan Martin Lake on Sunday.
    More >>
  • Officer-involved shooting in Anniston leaves 53-year-old man dead

    Officer-involved shooting in Anniston leaves 53-year-old man dead

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 7:24 PM EDT2014-04-22 23:24:15 GMT
    ANNISTON, Ala. (AP) - Calhoun County officials say Anniston police fatally shot a man who was accused of pointing a gun at them. According to County Coroner Shane Adrian, 53-year-old Frank Charles Johnston was pronounced dead after being shot outside his house in the Blue Mountain area Tuesday morning. Adrian says neighbors told investigators that Johnston was standing in the street with a gun and that he pointed the weapon at responding officers. Adrian says Johnston's body is being taken to...More >>
    ANNISTON, Ala. (AP) - Calhoun County officials say Anniston police fatally shot a man who was accused of pointing a gun at them. According to County Coroner Shane Adrian, 53-year-old Frank Charles Johnston was pronounced dead after being shot outside his house in the Blue Mountain area Tuesday morning. Adrian says neighbors told investigators that Johnston was standing in the street with a gun and that he pointed the weapon at responding officers. Adrian says Johnston's body is being taken to...More >>
  • Tuscaloosa Area NewsMore>>

  • Demopolis police searching for bank robbery suspect (surveillance video)

    Demopolis police searching for bank robbery suspect (surveillance video)

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 1:53 PM EDT2014-04-23 17:53:26 GMT
    Surveillance video of the suspect in a bank robbery in Demopolis, Wednesday, April 23, 2014.Surveillance video of the suspect in a bank robbery in Demopolis, Wednesday, April 23, 2014.
    DEMOPOLIS, Alabama -- Demopolis police need help identifying a suspect in a bank robbery late Wednesday morning.According to Chief Tommie Reese, a black male entered the downtown branch of Robertson Banking Company just before noon and hopped the teller counter before stealing an undisclosed amount of cash. The suspect jumped back over the counter and fled the scene, knocking a bank employee to the ground in the process. The employee wasn't injured and returned to work.The suspect was reporte...More >>
    DEMOPOLIS, Alabama -- Demopolis police need help identifying a suspect in a bank robbery late Wednesday morning.According to Chief Tommie Reese, a black male entered the downtown branch of Robertson Banking Company just before noon and hopped the teller counter before stealing an undisclosed amount of cash. The suspect jumped back over the counter and fled the scene, knocking a bank employee to the ground in the process. The employee wasn't injured and returned to work.The suspect was reporte...More >>
  • Tuscaloosa police make arrest in kidnapping and robbery

    Tuscaloosa police make arrest in kidnapping and robbery

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 12:11 PM EDT2014-04-23 16:11:43 GMT
    Tuscaloosa police arrest one man and they are still searching for another.More >>
    Tuscaloosa police arrest one man and they are still searching for another.More >>
  • Alabama State Bar to Host Free Legal Clinic in Tuscaloosa

    Alabama State Bar to Host Free Legal Clinic in Tuscaloosa

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 10:17 AM EDT2014-04-23 14:17:09 GMT
    The Alabama State Bar Volunteer Lawyers Program, working in cooperation with the Tuscaloosa County Bar Association and the University of Alabama School of Law, will host a free legal clinic for low-income residents of Tuscaloosa County. The clinic is open to the more than 40,000 low-income residents of Tuscaloosa County coping civil legal challenges. The clinic's lawyers are experienced in various areas of the law and will be available to answer questions in the areas of divorce/custody/visit...More >>
    The Alabama State Bar Volunteer Lawyers Program, working in cooperation with the Tuscaloosa County Bar Association and the University of Alabama School of Law, will host a free legal clinic for low-income residents of Tuscaloosa County. The clinic is open to the more than 40,000 low-income residents of Tuscaloosa County coping civil legal challenges. The clinic's lawyers are experienced in various areas of the law and will be available to answer questions in the areas of divorce/custody/visit...More >>
Most Popular
Stories
Videos
loading...