Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Oak Knoll trial to start. Compassion won't stop.

Back in August was a devastating fire. It destroyed 11 homes in minutes. Police arrested a transient about 15 hours later. Tuesday he goes to trial.

You might assume homeowners, neighbors, and the community want maximum punishments -- the closest thing to revenge they can legally get.

Nope. They said it wouldn't bring any of the homes back. They said they want the suspect, John Thiry, a mentally unstable man, to receive the help he needs.

Here's the story I reported Monday night, looking ahead to the trial.

This fire has revealed to me how great the human spirit is.

A few months ago, I wrote about some of the similarities with the stories I heard about the Oak Knoll Fire and the stories I saw and heard in Post-Katrina New Orleans.

I'm still astounded by the spirit and attitude of the people I talk to about the Oak Knoll Fire. They just care and give non-stop.

"The love flowed...
If New Orleans could be like that always...
What a city we would have, or any place.
It had to be a little taste of what heaven's going to be like -- where people just love each other and do whatever they can to help each other."

-Rosie Boittman, Upper Ninth Ward, New Orleans

That's how I feel about the Oak Knoll neighborhood and the people of Ashland who surrounded it with care.

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