Fundraising Effort Organized To Help Farmer After Home Fire

WHALEYVILLE – A local farmers market merchant is left picking up the pieces this week after losing his home in a fire.

Just before 7 p.m. on Sunday, March 7, firefighters from multiple departments responded to a reported house fire on Donaway Road in Whaleyville.

Resident Joe Timmons said he and his eight-year-old son were home at the time. He said he had placed a pan of vegetable oil on the hot stove. When he returned a few minutes later, the kitchen was on fire.

“It was bad,” he said. “I couldn’t do anything. My son started screaming, saying ‘Daddy we need to get out.’”

He said several fire trucks and ambulances responded to the scene. His roommate, who lived on the other side of the house, had to be pulled out of the fire.

“I called my roommate when we got out, but I didn’t think she was there at the time,” he said. “She was actually asleep in the house.”

Timmons recognized the firefighters for their quick response and assistance in putting out the flames. While his house has been deemed uninhabitable, he said he was grateful everyone had survived.

“I still can’t wrap my head around everything,” he said.

Timmons said he is currently residing in a camper in the front yard. He explained he is staying on the property to tend to his goats, which are integral to his small business, Goatopia LLC.

“Five mommy goats had six baby goats in the last month …,” he said, “so I had to be there.”

Timmons noted his business operates from his home. The fire, he added, destroyed all the materials he uses to craft his goat milk products.

“We have to start over again …,” he said. “Everything is on hold right now.”

Meanwhile, community members have stepped up to help Timmons and his family.

“We’ve had people bring out necessities, like canned food, towels and other day-to-day things you take for granted,” he said. “I can’t thank them enough. I am overwhelmed by the support we’ve gotten.”

Family friend Amy Roche has also organized a Go Fund Me page to assist the family.

“Joe Timmons has been a long-time friend of the family, growing up in the local Salisbury area with my husband,” she said. “Joe is a kind, compassionate and hard-working small business owner of Goatopia LLC, where he farms goats and makes goat-milk lotions and soaps. When Joe’s house burned down, he not only lost his home, but he also lost his ability to continue running his small business.”

Roche said funds collected through the Go Fund Me page will help Timmons rebuild his home and his business. As of Thursday, more than $2,200 had been raised.

“Please consider making a small donation to a local community member so he can once again begin selling his homemade products at the local farmers markets in Ocean Pines, Berlin, and surrounding areas,” she said. “With your help he will be able to get back on his feet and carry on.”

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.