Local family struggles with another tragedy

The Salie family lost their Petal home in July. Deedy Salie and her three children were spending time with family when they received the second most tragic news of their lives.

"I got a call, and the dispatcher said your house is on fire."

The Salie family is no stranger to tragedy.  SFC David Salie, Deedy's husband and father of three, died in combat in Iraq in 2005.

"The minute they told me, I hit the ground," Salie said.

"I think the only thing that saved me that night was I looked down the hallway and watched my daughter watchin the whole thing. I think she's the only thing that saved my sanity that night... I'm sorry... No you can cry. It's okay... Okay."

Fast forward to now, the Salie's are living at an extended stay with hardly anything left to their names. That's not stopping Deedy from pushing forward.

"The army taught me that anywhere we go, as long as the four of us are together, that's home. It doesn't matter if we're living under a bridge. We're home because we're together."

Volunteer firefighter Luke Fordham was the first on the scene.

"My hero is Luke Fordham," she said.

Fordham went into the burning house, ripped off the door to the safe, and recovered her husband's Purple Heart, among other treasures that keep his memory alive.

"I could live a hundred lifetimes and I wouldn't be able to repay him for giving. When you see so many people coming in to help, it's overwhelming."

"My husband used to tell me to pull up your bootstraps and march on."

And that's exactly what she's doing.

If you'd like to help the Salie family get back on their feet, go here, or attend the Salie family profit share at Marlin's Grill in Hattiesburg on Sunday, August 10.