LaPlata Fireman Jerry Thomas received a heros welcome Wednesday afternoon as three fire departments escorted him through the City of Macon. Bevier Firemen, Macon City Firemen and LaPlata Firemen met Thomas and his daughter, Lori Smith of LaPlata on Thomas’ way home from the hospital.
Peggy and Jerry Thomas of LaPlata and Jerry’s brother who had come to visit the couple were awakened by smoke alarms around 1:30 a.m. on May 24. Jerry had been a firemen in LaPlata for over 40 years. He got his wife and brother out of the house. He knew he needed to call for help so he had gone back in the burning home to retrieve his cell phone. He almost didn’t make it back out.
He was lifeflighted to a Columbia Hospital with burns over 35 percent of his body. On Wednesday, doctors released Jerry, and he came back to LaPlata with groups greeting him along the way.
Peggy and Jerry do not have a house to go to for it and everything in it was destroyed by fire. The community has rallied for the couple, and have arranged for them a house until they can replace theirs.
The couple lost their grandson, Adam Thomas in Afghanistan a few years ago. All of Adams’ belongings were destroyed in the fire.
Jerry was surprised when he saw the fire trucks and men at the fairgrounds. After all he and his wife had been through, he was overheard saying, “God is Good.”
The LaPlata Community and the surrounding areas have rallied to help friends, who lost their home and all their belongings to a fire.
The Jerry Thomas Family Fundraiser is to be held Saturday, July 7, in the La Plata City Park.
It is to be an all-day event starting with biscuits and gravy.
The day is filled with numerous events including 3-on-3 basketball, cake walk, steak sandwiches, t-shirts, and a music shows.
Jerry returned to LaPlata on Wednesday after being in a Columbia hospital since May 24.
“I have known Jerry during my entire career as a firemen,” Macon City Fire Chief Ross Dutton said. “Jerry is always doing for others, and has since I’ve known him. He has been a firemen for over 40 years in LaPlata.”
DID YOU KNOW?
According to Macon City Fire Chief Ross Dutton, the Macon City Fire Department is collecting items to donate for the auction that will be held during the fundraiser for Jerry and Peggy Thomas on Saturday July 7