Saturday, March 10, 2012

Fire Destroys Soldier's Home Days Before Deployment

Fire Destroys Soldier's Home Days Before Deployment

Marion Co. Family Of 6 On Mission To Rebuild

POSTED: 11:18 pm EST March 9, 2012

REDDICK, Fla. -- A Marion County solider who was just days away from deployment to Afghanistan lost nearly everything in a house fire.

Flames tore through Richard Leadingham's home in Reddick on Wednesday. He, his four children and his wife made it out safely. Now, there's an overwhelming support effort coming from the community.

The house fire destroyed the Leadingham family's home, and they don't have insurance. Adding to the heartache, the patriarch of the family leaves Saturday to serve overseas.

"(It's) tough, really tough," Linda Leadingham said. "Both of my kids' rooms are gone, and so is our bathroom. What the fire didn't damage, the smoke did."

Richard Leadingham is a U.S. Army Reserve serviceman. He said he salvaged his uniforms in the fire, and he'll need them. He joins his transportation unit in Jacksonville this weekend to head to Afghanistan.

The cargo specialist will be gone a year.
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