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TUESDAY, JULY 10, 2007
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For the benefit of Mr. Fields
Man who spent years assisting others needs help after fire


By Ronnie Thomas
rthomas@decaturdaily.com · 340-2438

LACEY'S SPRING — For years as president of the Tennessee River Coon Hunters Association, Herbert Fields helped others.

Now, Fields and his wife, Bobbie, need help replacing their home that burned from a lightning strike during a thunderstorm June 29.

"Dad had insurance, but he let it lapse," said their daughter, Shannon Moses of Somerville. "He had a leaking roof and was planning to fix it so his insurer would renew the policy. That's what you get for procrastinating."

Moses, who has assisted her father in past fundraisers, said the community will sponsor benefits for her parents Friday and Saturday at the coon hunters lodge, not far from the home.

She said that's where the couple was when they heard about the tragedy, in which they also lost their dog, Baby, and her 4-week-old puppy.

People come and play cards every Friday night," she said. "That night, only my parents and Eddie and Sherry Freeman showed up. The storm probably kept everyone else home."

Moses said they heard a loud boom up on the hill. Her father commented, "Boy, it hit something up there." She said about 15 minutes later, a teenager came and told him his house was on fire.

"By the time Daddy and Eddie got up there, fire already had engulfed it," Moses said. "Baby, a Boston terrier and rat terrier mix, and her puppy were in the living room. That's where fire officials believe the lightning struck, in the middle of the house."

Moses said her father kept several beagles in a pen beside the house.

"Eddie got to the pen, but because of all the smoke, he couldn't find the latch to open it," she said. "The fire singed the hair on his arms. As Daddy moved toward the pen, Eddie warned him to get back, that the smoke would overtake him. He replied, 'I've got to try to save my dogs.' "

Moses said Fields dragged the cage down the driveway, away from the fire.

"The dogs were in the back of the pen, but they all were burned on their sides," Moses said. "Hopefully, they are going to be all right."

Moses said her father has the same passion for people.

"He's pretty much single-handily done benefits for others," she said. "In 2005, during a year's time, he helped raise over $22,000 for four different families, collecting about $10,000 at just one of the benefits."

Moses said her parents' dwelling was a wood frame, three-bedroom, one bath Jim Walter home her parents lived in for 32 years.

"We hope to replace it with something smaller, since it's just for the two of them," she said.

They're off to a good start, even before the benefits begin. Members of the community have given $5,600 in donations, along with food, clothes and shoes.

Moses said that Sunday, Steve and Gary Dobbs of Cotaco came to the burned house, cleared the debris from the property and hauled it off.

"They did about $4,000 worth of work," she said. "Daddy tried to pay them. They wouldn't take a dime."

Benefits for Fields

  • Benefits for Herbert and Bobbie Fields, who lost their home at Lacey’s Spring to fire, are this weekend at the Tennessee River Coon Hunters Association lodge in Lacey’s Spring on Fields Road, off U.S. 231.

  • 6 p.m., auction for dog food, hunting supplies. Also, a “buddy coon hunt” with deadline to register at 8 p.m. There will be a $25 entry fee with a 60-40 percent payout.

  • 8:30 p.m., a ROOK tournament starts while the dogs are running. Hamburger plates on sale throughout the night.

    Saturday:

  • 8:30 a.m., meat shoot.

  • 10 a.m., 13-mile round trip wagon train ride. No charge, donations accepted.

  • 12:30 p.m., horse shoe tournament, $10 entry fee. Trophies for first and second place. Immediately following tournament, auction for cakes, tools and gift certificates from businesses.

  • 8 p.m., drawing for $100 cash and raffle for two $50 gift cards. Tickets will be sold both Friday and Saturday.

    Chicken plates offered both days. Also, vendor Mel York will sell funnel cakes, homemade lemonade and shaved ice with all proceeds going to the Fieldses.

    For more information, phone Shannon Moses at 541-4267, Tina Dawson at 348-1786 or Laura West at 631-5418.

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