By Jim Hannah
The Cincinnati Enquirer
BELLEVUE - A former Thomas More College football standout who is the son of a Dayton councilman-elect lost his home in a Christmas Day fire.
Brandon Gifford's family - including his 4-year-old son - came home from a party early Thursday to find their home at 138 O'Fallon Ave. on fire. The family had moved into the two-story frame home less than two weeks ago. Although no figures were available, firefighters said the home was a total loss.
The Bellevue/Dayton Fire Department arrived at 11:55 p.m. Wednesday. Firefighters were on the scene for about four hours; it took them two hou to get the blaze under control.
Mr. Gifford said his family lost everything, including their Christmas gifts.
"We lost absolutely everything," said Mr. Gifford, who wore a sweat suit donated by the Red Cross. "We just moved in and I had no insurance. The house was pretty much gone when we pulled up in the car. There was nothing we could do."
The cause remains under investigation. It was unclear whether Christmas lights might have set off the fire, which started on the first floor near holiday decorations.
Mr. Gifford's father, Jerard, said his son's family was staying with him until they could find other housing.
"I'm thankful no one was injured or killed, but it's tough," the elder Mr. Gifford said. "It's the things that you can't replace - like the baby album of my grandson and tapes of my son's college football career - that is hard to deal with."
Mr. Gifford was the middle linebacker for the 1995 undefeated Thomas More team. Capt. Dave Tiemeyer of the Bellevue/Dayton Fire Department said firefighters are collecting money for Mr. Gifford's family.
Donations can be made by calling the firehouse at (859) 261-0083.
TOP LOCAL HEADLINES
Brent Spence Bridge is nearly out of time
Big Boom spawns many a big bash
Big names on VIP list for Cinergy demolition
Home values jump 2%-48%
Coalition pushes for discounts on drugs
Powerball winner plans to share $111M
Car Control Clinic inspired by teen deaths
Court holds $1.9M in unclaimed funds
Sycamore community center revisited
School follows Buckeye theme
AROUND THE TRISTATE
Cultural program opens Kwanzaa
Race tickets cost more, easier to get
Tristate A.M. Report
Good News: Students get a taste of music in jam sessions
Obituary: Harrison Warrener ran insurance firm
BRONSON: Cook your own news this week
SMITH AMOS: Emergency contraceptives do their job
Ex-husband charged in beating
College will buy homes to protect neighborhood
Boy's collection to fund scholars
House fire leaves family with nothing
Ky. Dems mobilize for 2003
Police search for suspect in Christmas Eve killing
Lincoln statue won't be embraced by all
Old theaters renovated to spruce up downtowns
Three longtime staffers of Jewish newspaper retiring