Community rallies behind Citronelle High teachers whose home was destroyed by fire

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CITRONELLE, Ala. (WKRG) — A family with two Citronelle High teachers are left with nothing after a fire destroyed their home.

An aggressive fire on Sunday morning left the Pippin family without a place to call home.

Jeff, his wife Deborah, and their two kids thankfully were not home during the fire. Citronelle Fire and Rescue say it was close to a total loss. The family of four had just came back from vacation and was at church when the fire happened. They had to leave in the middle of the service when they heard what was happening.

John Blackwell, the family’s pastor at Restoration Church, spoke to WKRG News 5 for them today. Blackwell says the Pippin family is well known in Citronelle for being giving leaders. Deborah was the Mobile County Public School System’s high school teacher of the year, and her husband Jeff is the football coach at Citronelle. “When something like this happens, it just leaves a sting and an impact and makes you go, ‘Man, they didn’t deserve that, but at the end of the day no one deserves that.”

And their giving hearts don’t stop at being active in church or their work at Citronelle High. At the beginning of July, the couple was featured on The Kelly Clarkson show for giving away a car to long-time custodian of the school Sam, whose car had recently broken down.

And now in their time of need, that same giving nature is being passed along. “It’s a small close-knit community, and so everyone is wanting to rally around them, and they are leaders in every sense of the word in the community. And so, I think everyone is trying to rally around them and trying to figure out something they can do to help out,” Blackwell said.

Restoration Church, their home church, is taking gift cards to give to the family. There is also a PayPal account one of their family members has shared. You can donate to it at dpippin83@yahoo.com.

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