Goddards face bittersweet celebration

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Wedding anniversary marred by Dec. 18 fire that burned couple’s home, keepsakes

By Damon Lawrence

District 2 Roane County Commissioner Jerry Goddard and his wife, Sherron, will celebrate their 49th wedding anniversary next month.

The keepsakes gathered over those years were lost in a fire at the couple’s Cemetery Lane home last month.

“Every single thing was lost,” he said. “Forty-nine years of saving stuff gone down the drain.”

Sherron Goddard called 911 to report the fire shortly after midnight on Dec. 18. Midtown Volunteer Fire Department Chief Randy Scarborough said the cause may have been a malfunctioning heater in the basement.

“Our first unit found fire through the roof upon arrival,” said Harriman Fire Department Chief Brad Goss, whose department responded for mutual aid.

The remains of the home smoldered for days.

Goddard attended his first Roane County Commission meeting since the fire on Monday.

“We’re doing OK,” he said. “We’ll make it through.”

Goddard said they stayed with his mother-in-law the week following the fire. He and his wife are renting a place now, he said.

“It’s been very busy and very hectic,” he said. “Dealing with insurance and deciding where we’re going to move or if we’re going to rebuild.”

Goddard said he’d like to rebuild, but he and his wife haven’t made a final decision.