Father makes ultimate sacrifice in burning home

Tim and Sonya Wilson
Tim and Sonya Wilson

AUTAUGAVILLE, AL (WSFA) - An Autauga County family is mourning the loss of two of their own after an early morning house fire Friday

The father managed to save the lives of his children, but lost his own life trying to save his wife. She also died in the fire.

The charred mobile home, just a few miles north of Autaugaville, belonged to victims Timothy and Sonya Wilson.

Geraldine Wilson, Tim's mother, lives just a few yards away and knew something was wrong when the couple's two children banged on her door around 3:30am.

"Grandmomma, the house is on fire," they told her. She immediately dialed 911.

Family members say Mr. Wilson managed to save his 5 and 11 year old children before rushing back into the burning house for his wife. Timothy Wilson's dad says he, himself, was just a 'hand-reach' away from being able to pull his own son and daughter-in-law out.

Tracey Palmer, another relative of the victims, also remembers the couple,"...was well-known throughout the community," he said. "Anything Tim could do for you, he'd do it."

Investigators haven't pinpointed an exact cause to the fatal blaze, though something should be known within the next week or so.

"Through prayer, through God's grace," Geraldine Wilson says her family will make it through this tragedy, "leaning and depending on Jesus."

Tim, 28, and Sonya, 31, were just a few months shy of their fifth wedding anniversary.

For now, the couple's two children are staying with family members in Montgomery.

The family says the couple first met in Montgomery. Tim worked on a local farm in Autauga County while his wife worked at a local convenience store.

This marks the 18th fire fatality for Alabama for 2009.