Just after midnight on Thursday, the Union Fire Department responded to a house fire which claimed the life of a small child. Within minutes of the emergency call, firefighters arrived to find the home filled with flames.
The house belongs to Union High School band director Bruce White and his wife Michelle, who is also a teacher at the school. The victim was identified as five-year-old Bret White.
"The first unit advised that they had fire coming from both ends of the house. The family did state they had a child that was not accounted for," said Chief Dale Yates of the Union Fire Department.
The Whites were able to escape the fire with two of their three children and called for help from a neighbor’s house.
The state fire marshal ruled the cause of the fire was accidental.
The town of Union has really come together to do everything it can for the Whites. The school will establish an account at The Citizens Bank in Union in the Whites' name, while the Union High Band Boosters will also be collecting money for the family. Other items needed include clothing, bedding, sheets, and towels.
"At the school, we are taking financial contributions, clothing, household items. Anything that someone has that might be beneficial to the Whites," said Ray Perry, principal of Union High School.
Both Mr. and Mrs. White came to Union High about three years ago. Before that, they both taught at Meridian High School.
If you would like to make a monetary donation, or donate goods to the White family, contact:
The Citizens Bank
502 Bank Street
Union High School
101 Forest Street