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Pipkins family loses everything in fire

By Staff
VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTERS Lauderdale County volunteer firefighters extinguish flames at a home on Highway 19 North on Wednesday. The home was fully engulfed by the time firefighters arrived on the scene about 10 a.m., but no one was home when the fire began. Lauderdale County firefighters are investigating the cause of the fire. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Fredie Carmichael / staff writer
April 1, 2004
Gwen Pipkins cried Wednesday as she watched her family's Highway 19 home go up in flames. Inside was a folder full of more than 500 song lyrics.
Pipkins, an aspiring rhythm &blues singer, plans to fly to New York City next month and realize her childhood dream signing a recording contract.
But Pipkins was far from excited about the trip on Wednesday. She used her hand to cover her face from and wiped the tears from her eyes as she helplessly watched Lauderdale County volunteer firefighters try to extinguish the flames.
The fire began about 10 a.m. near the center of the house. Pipkins and her mother, Patrica, were walking back from a nearby Texaco convenience store when they saw the thick black smoke stretching above the pines.
Lauderdale County volunteer firefighters are still investigating the cause of the fire.
Patrica, who also has a 10-year-old daughter who was in school when the fire began, said her family moved into the rental home in August.
Patrica said she and Gwen had walked to the store Wednesday morning because their car was in the shop. She said she felt helpless as she ran towards the burning house.

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