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Pittman Mom, Daughter Out Of Burn Center After Deadly Fire

By: April Davis/ Carly Swain
By: April Davis/ Carly Swain

Three weeks after a deadly fire ripped through an Onslow County home, the last two family members are out of the hospital.

Sheriff Ed Brown says Johnetta Pittman, and her 11-year-old daughter, Hannah, have been released from the Jaycee Burn Center in Chapel Hill.

Three Pittman children were killed in the accidental fire at their Highway 17 rental home. Investigators say a faulty refrigerator sparked the blaze that killed 11-year-old Tabitha, 9-year-old Elijah and 7-year-old Gabriel. All three were in a downstairs bedroom when the fire broke out.

The sheriff says the father, Sammy Pittman, has expressed many thanks to everyone for all that has been done for the family.


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Wednesday afternoon a Community, friends, and family buried three children killed in a house fire last month.

For the first time, we saw father Sammie Pittman as he led his only living son and daughters into the 600 seat sanctuary to say goodbye to three children from their family. Absent from the funeral was Johnetta and Hannah- the mother and daughter still in the hospital.

White caskets rolled into waiting hearses and the processional quieted Highway 258. Glenda Padgett from Baker's Restaurant just across the street from the burial site had to come out and see it as her own version of a tribute.

"We just- we love the family. We don't know them, but we love them all. It was just a terrible tragedy. I think one of the worst our county's seen in a long time. The Pittman family has just been in our hearts and in our prayers the last several days," said Padgett.

The community continues its outreach to the Pittman family. As we told you earlier this week, a group is pooling resources to build the family a new home. You can find details on how to help at the bottom of this story.

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Three children killed in a tragic house fire will be laid to rest Wednesday.

The Pittman family and their friends will hold services for 11-year-old Tabitha, 9-year-old Elijah and 7-year-old Gabriel. All three were in a downstairs bedroom in their home near Jacksonville when a fire broke out the morning of February 23.

WITN will respect the family's request that media cameras not be present inside the funeral at Tar Landing Baptist Church.


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The funeral arrangements have been announced for the three children killed in a tragic house fire.

The three Pittman children who died on February 23rd, 11-year-old Tabitha, 9-year-old Elijah and 7-year-old Gabriel, will be laid to rest Wednesday. The service will be at the Tar Landing Baptist Church at 1:00 pm, followed by a burial at Onslow Memorial Park.

Five other children survived the fire, along with their mother. Their father was at work when the blaze broke out. Investigators say a faulty wire in the refrigerator sparked the early morning fire.

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Since a fire at a home outside Jacksonville late last month took the lives of three children in the Pittman family after Tabitha, Elijah, and Gabriel died in a house fire. The community has donated clothes, furniture, and money and now they're working together to build the Pittman family a brand new home. The land has been secured and the foundation poured.

The plan has been under wraps since the day after the fire, but now we can officially unveil the news. Several people who live in Onslow County have pulled together, and they're building the Pittman family a brand new home. The land is on Nan street in Richlands which has been donated. Community members have been pooling resources of skilled labor, building supplies and cash. I

The Pittman family was offered a few floor plans to choose from. Those coordinating the efforts say they want to stay anonymous and stay focused on the project and the Pittmans.

The target completion date for the house is about 90 days from Monday.

If you would like to help, PNC Bank has set up a fund for the Pittman Family home. Mail checks to PO Box 188, Richlands, NC 28574 made out to the Sammy Pittman Family Building Fund.

The email if you want to help build or donate supplies is SPFhousingfund@gmail.com.


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