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Friday, November 02, 2007

 

Tragedy Hits JL Mann Three Fold

A news event thats sweeping the nation hits close to home at JL Mann High School. The tragedy of the beach house fire in Ocean Isle Beach, NC has hit the campus of JL Mann in such dramatic force this week as we cope with the loss of three of our 2006 alumni. This Sunday morning blaze has been talked about all over the national news and, even, international news. The blaze which occurred Sunday morning held a house of 13 college students from USC and one from Clemson who were at the prime of their lives looking for a weekend break to watch a football game and relax from the heavy tolls of college life. Seven students perished in the fire leaving only six to tell the tale. The three Mann students who have past are:

*Justin Anderson from USC.
*Travis Cale from USC.
*Emily Yelton from Clemson.

All three were the most humble and vivacious friends that anyone could love and treasure during their time here in our lives.

Here are the three friends as described by their loved ones from GreenvilleOnline.com

Justin Anderson: “He would’ve been the best father in the world”

Published: Tuesday, October 30, 2007 - 7:38 pm



Travis Cale: "Travis was one who was always happy"

Published: Tuesday, October 30, 2007 - 10:31 pm



Here are the obituaries to follow with the service times.


Justin Michael Anderson, 19, died October 28, 2007.
Justin was a loving brother and a beautiful son.
Born in Columbia, he was a son of Dr. Joseph Thomas and Dawn Bielaski Anderson.
Justin was a 2006 graduate of J.L. Mann High School, where he played football and soccer. He was an honor student at the University of South Carolina, majoring in business, and was a member of the SAE fraternity.
Justin was a member of St. Matthew United Methodist Church. He had been an acolyte and played on the basketball team. He also attended Salkahatchie Summer Mission Service.
Surviving, in addition to his parents, are his brothers, Stephen, Taylor and Matthew, all of Greenville; maternal grandparents, Frank and Eleanor Bielaski of Columbia; paternal grandparents, Bud and Betty Anderson of Columbia; his aunt, Lori Harley and her husband, Will, of Charlotte, N.C.; his uncle, Mark Anderson and his wife, Carol, of Atlanta, Ga.; and cousins, Brent and Ethan Anderson and Megan and Josh Harley.
Services will be Saturday at 11 a.m. at St. Matthew United Methodist Church with the Rev. Cameron Treece officiating. Burial will follow in Woodlawn Memorial Park.
The family will receive friends Saturday from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. at the Church.
Memorials may be made to the Justin Anderson Endowment Fund at St. Matthew United Methodist Church, 701 Cleveland St., Greenville, SC 29601, or to Carolina Remembrance Fund, 1600 Hampton St., Suite 736, Columbia, SC 29208.
The Mackey Mortuary, Century Drive.
Published in The Greenville News: 11-02-2007.

Travis Lane Cale, 19, of 25 Round Pond Road, died Sunday, October 28, 2007.
Born in Greenville, he was the son of Stephen Eugene and Connie Payne Cale.
Travis was a 2006 graduate of JL Mann Academy, where he played JV and Varsity baseball. He attended the University of South Carolina, majoring in Business and was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity.
He was a member of Westminster Presbyterian Church and active in Young Life.
He played church basketball, Greenville Little League (All Stars) and Beck Baseball Team.
Travis loved to fish, especially at the pond near his home. He loved 4-wheeling, video games, dancing, listening to country music and playing guitar with friends. He always looked forward to Thanksgiving with family and playing baseball with his cousins. He enjoyed spending the Fourth of July at Beech Mountain with his friends, and enjoyed doing anything and everything that involved his brother, Burns and their extraordinarily close-knit friends. He especially enjoyed spending time with his girlfriend, Emily Yelton.
Surviving, in addition to his parents, are his brother, Burns Stephen Cale of the home; maternal grandmother, Sara W. Payne of Greenville; paternal grandparents, Bobbie Campbell Lazar and W.E. "Rainey" Lazar of Greenville; other surviving family members include, Reverend Sara Anna Payne of Richmond, Va., Dr. William and Patti Payne Bearden of Chapin, S.C., Julie Payne Wooley of Greenwood, Tommy and Jacque Cale Gaul of Greer, Larry and Lisa Cale Colburn of Canton, Ga., Mike Lazar of Greer, Roy and Robin Doss of Rustburg, Va., Dr. Mike and Dr. Anna Bearden Lowit, Ryan and Wallace Bearden Miller, Robert Wooley, Elizabeth Wooley, Jason and Amy Gaul, Ryan Gaul, Connor Colburn, Jeffrey Doss, Cord Doss, Brian Lazar and Kevin Lazar. He was preceded in death by his paternal grandfather, Burns E. Cale.
Memorials may be made to Carolina Remembrance Fund for Travis Cale, SAE, University of South Carolina, Gift Processing, 1600 Hampton Street, Suite 736, Columbia, SC 29208 or Meals on Wheels, 15 Oregon Street, Greenville, SC 29605.
The funeral service will be held Saturday, November 3, 2007, at 2:30 p.m. at Brookwood Church, 580 Brookwood Point Place, Simpsonville. Visitation will follow the service at the residence.
Active pallbearers will be Ryan Gaul, Le McNair, Julian Nexson, Brendan Smith, R.J. Snyder, Robert Wooley and Brayden Wynn.
Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting www.thomasmcafee.com.
Thomas McAfee Funeral Home, Downtown.
Published in The Greenville News: 11-02-2007


Emily Lauren Yelton, 19, died October 28, 2007.
Born in Greenville, S.C., she was a daughter of Jeff and Kim Yelton.
Emily was a graduate of J.L. Mann High School, where she was a head cheerleader and a member of Young Life of Greenville. She was a sophomore at Clemson University and attended Brookwood Church.
Surviving, in addition to her parents, are her twin sister, Meredith Ashburn Yelton of Greenville; her paternal grandparents, Dr. and Mrs. Ernest Yelton of Rutherfordton, N.C.; her maternal grandfather, Larry Wright of Greenville; and aunts, Kristin Blanton and her husband, Stan, of Greer, Wendy Garrison and her husband, Chris, of Greer, Kathleen Mayer of Greenville and Patty Green of Mt. Pleasant, S.C.
A Memorial Service will be Friday at 2 p.m. at Brookwood Church, with the Rev. David Martin and the Rev. Perry Duggar officiating. Inurnment will follow in Graceland East Memorial Park.
Memorials may be made to Young Life of Greenville.
The Mackey Mortuary, Century Drive
Published in The Greenville News: 11-01-2007


Justin, Travis, and Emily, RIP.


The good news is that people survived this fire so that others may know what occured.

Tripp Wylie of the JL Mann Class Of 2006 survived the fire and lived to tell the tale on the The Today Show, Good Morning America, and The Early Show. I am so thankful Tripp survived this horrible disaster.

Here are both his stories from The Today Show and GreenvilleOnline.

House fire survivor remembers friends who perished

Tripp Wylie jumped from third floor into canal, but girlfriend did not follow


By Mike Celizic
TODAYShow.com contributor
updated 10:17 a.m. ET, Tues., Oct. 30, 2007

College students Travis Cale, Justin Anderson and Emily Yelton were Tripp Wylie’s best friends, kids he had known since grammar school.
Yelton was his former girlfriend, Cassidy Pendley was his current girlfriend, and Wylie lost them all in a savage fire at a North Carolina beach house Sunday that left him alive but hardly untouched.
“You try to make sense out of it, which is impossible,” Wylie said when TODAY co-host Matt Lauer asked during an interview Tuesday if he asks himself why he survived while his friends died.“People keep telling me it happened for a reason, everything happens for a reason. I have to believe that right now,” he said. “It’s the only thing that I can hold on to right now. Definitely, I keep asking myself that question.”
Wylie and his friends were among 12 students from the University of South Carolina and one from Clemson University who had piled into four cars last week for a late-season weekend at a big, two-story beach house built on stilts and overlooking a canal in the little North Carolina town of Ocean Isle Beach.
On Saturday night, they watched South Carolina lose to Tennessee in football, then stayed up late, dancing on the house’s big back deck, having a good time.



Sometime before 7 a.m. Sunday, the house erupted in flames. The five students sleeping on the first floor got out; of the eight students on the upper floor — three stories above the ground — only Wylie, a 20-year-old sophomore, survived.

He leaped out of his bedroom window into the canal more than 20 feet below. When he hit the water, he yelled repeatedly to his girlfriend, Pendley, urging her — begging her — to jump after him. She never did.
Wylie hadn’t wanted to go on television to talk about it, but didn’t want to dishonor his friends. Sunday night, he reached out in his own way to ask them what he should do.
“I kind of had a little prayer meeting with those seven people that were lost in the fire, and I just told them that I was gonna get word out of what they were like, how they impacted my life, people’s lives, tell how great people they really were,” he said.



His anguish was evident, the words coming slowly and painfully, one at a time and in brief clusters rather than in sentences.
“They were your best friends in the world,” Lauer observed.
“Exactly,” Wylie confirmed. “Exactly. Toughest thing I’ve ever dealt with, without a doubt.”
And then he talked of those people who had been at the center of his life and now were gone.
“Justin — Justin Anderson, his smile. Big, white teeth,” he began. “Big, huge smile you could pick out of a crowd. Personality that really — grab any stranger off the street, Justin could talk to anybody.”
Then there was Travis Cale. “Just the same, very engaging personality,” Wylie said. “These are my best friends. Travis — everything was a friendly competition between us. We’d get to each other, just messing with each other — [I’ll] definitely miss that.”
Emily Yelton had been his girlfriend, a pretty blonde with a big smile. “Just really the life of the party,” Wylie continued. “If you were out having a good time Friday, Saturday night, chances are Emily was there. Huge, huge heart. A very caring person. Loved life.”
Finally he spoke of Cassie Pendley, the young woman he had fallen for just a few months earlier
“We met the first day of classes, which was my birthday,” he recalled. “Me being stupid, walked into a class of about 400 people and just kind of yelled out, ‘Who wants to sit by me?’ and just happened to sit by her. The rest is history. Great girl. I keep telling people [it was] pretty amazing to walk into a room with her and watch all the heads turn to see who she was.”



The other three students who died in the tragedy were Lauren Mahon, Allison Walden and Will Rhea, whose brother, Andrew, escaped the flames. Most of the men were members of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity and the women were from Delta Delta Delta.
Ocean Isle Beach is a tight-knit community of just 500 residents, and the mayor there called the tragedy “the worst thing to ever happen here.”
Searching for the cause
Fire officials haven’t determined a cause for the fire, which quickly engulfed the house, leaving a gutted shell in its wake, but believe it was accidental and started on the deck that overlooks the canal.
Wylie has no idea what woke him early Sunday morning. In previous interviews, he said he just woke up, opened the door to his room, and saw a hall filled with smoke and the roar and crackle of fire. He realized he couldn’t get down the stairs and out that way, so he tore the blinds off the window and kicked it in.
He had no idea if anyone else was even in the house. “I called out hoping someone would hear," he told Lauer. "[I] didn’t have any idea at the time who was in, who was out, who was safe, who was not.”
He tore the blinds off the window and kicked the window out. “I could see flames at that point and could see how serious it really was,” he said.
Telling Pendley to follow him, he climbed on the window ledge, saw the flames shooting out of the back of the house, and leaped sideways, turning to land on his back in the water. He scraped the backs of his legs on a concrete retaining wall on the canal, but was otherwise physically uninjured.



“The only option you really had was just to jump out,” he said in a previous interview. “I couldn’t really breathe. I just had to make a quick decision.”
It saved Wylie’s life. Now he must figure out how to live it without the people who had shared it with him.
“I reach out to them,” he told Lauer. “I hope they know that I’m here for them. They’re in my prayers.”




Tripp Wylie on the Today Show.

A friend "was yelling, ‘Jump! You’ve got to jump'," survivor says
Tripp Wylie recalls how he escaped from death early Sunday morning


Published: Tuesday, October 30, 2007 - 2:00 am



Please pray for the victims and survivors and their families during this time of tragedy. Please continue to keep them in your thoughts and prayers this upcoming week as people start getting back to normal again.

God Bless Every1! I love every1 of you and I am praying for you, my friends, always,

Christian L.








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