Our neighbors lost everything in a house fire today: Update 2

I have been working on some actual posts, which are not done and won’t be for a few days at least. Today nothing got done because our neighbors’ house went up in flames. I am now a designated fire aid drop off house, so I’m a little busy. Will catch up as soon as I can.

Update: Donations have been pouring in from all over town. Residents are sharing on Facebook to keep spreading the word. Gotta love small towns where everybody knows everybody. My living room and garage are piled with stuff. Got a fat envelope of money and gift cards for the family. It was only a month or so ago that a young couple and their cat, Mr Skittles, lost their apartment and all of their belongings in a fire. I wasn’t involved with the outreach for that one because I was actually on my way out of town when I saw the flames.

Everything in our town is made of wood. We are notoriously flammable around here.

I just added 2 pictures of the inside of the house, taken by our local newspaper editor.

Update 2:  I can’t sit down in my own house. The outpouring of donations is amazing. I finally moved enough stuff so that I can close my front door. I’m now begging locals for boxes and storage tubs so I can organize all of the stuff. The family just stopped by to pick up a few things. Little Sydney collected a few toys, the older brother and mom got a few clothes. Mom got the gift certificates, cash, notes from Sydney’s classmates, etc. A relative paid for a week at a motel because the Red Cross 2 night stay ends after tonight. The family is  grateful and amazed by the community response.  Their kitty has been spotted but not captured yet.

Our newly re-elected county supervisor is bringing storage tubs and has offered to store some of the giant pile of donations. And yes, of course I voted for him again because he rocks.

I cleared enough space on the couch to sit down and watch Jon Stewart. I’m beat.

20 responses to “Our neighbors lost everything in a house fire today: Update 2

  1. Anonymous1253

    Very sad. Life is so unpredictable. Always bringing to the forefront those things that are truly the most important. I hope that no one suffered injury and am so sorry for all that they’ve lost.

  2. can I paypal a couple bucks, (and I really mean a couple) for your neighbor’s?

  3. Wow! What a terrifying fire! What a nightmare! Glad the fireman could contain the fire to the house–those trees look awfully close–and that everyone is okay.

  4. 😦 I’m so sorry. Thank you all for stepping up.

    I had clients escape w only their pjs after a fire got their home a few days prior to xmas in the 1980s.

    Use siftsort.com to securely store, share and access important documents. It’s got free storage that you can access by email, phone and fax and was conceived after Hurricane Katrina. After tax time is a great time to get your info in. Too late for this family, but all the rest of us should do it.

    • I wrote that down to share. One lady brought by some manila envelopes, stationary, etc., because she went through a fire and couldn’t believe the amount of paperwork involved.

  5. Years and years ago a close friend of mine lost her house to a fire. She and her toddler bub moved in with me – we just doubled up my (then three) kids and gave them a room of their own. We helped them sift through the rubble for salvageable belongings and I think it was the hardest life lesson all of us ever learned. My friend stayed with us for a year while she established herself in my town and got back on her feet. She’d have done the same for me in a heartbeat.
    We used to sit with our feet up on the sofa and say stupid things like “You seen my camera?” and “yuh I think it’s on the coffee table” knowing full well the camera had literally fused itself into the table. A plastic wall phone melted in a 3 ft long streak down a wall and the jokes that came out of that visual were endless.
    Humour and friendship got everyone through the ordeal. Good onya for being there for your neighbour and remember – at the end of the day – stuff is just stuff – at least no one was hurt or killed 🙂

    • The firefighers rescued the daughter’s extremely expensive cochlear implant undamaged, and some family photos. And the garage didn’t burn.

  6. I feel so badly for this Family.
    My own (rented) house burned down 6 yrs ago this September.
    We are still not back on our feet.
    It was on all the local news, as my 14 yr old son (at the time) had pulled me and his brother from a room full of flames after the smoke knocked me out.
    The School Resource Officer set up an account for donations to help us. But no body did. The people I worked with helped as much as they could, but they didn’t earn enough money to help as much as they wanted to.
    I hope your community is a bit kinder and more giving than mine.
    I live in a very Red State, where there are many wealthy people, but they don’t like to help the needy/poor/working poor.
    I hope all of your neighbors are safe and healthy, smoke really does a job on your thought process. I cried and cried for months after.
    If I had any money at all, I would send as much as possible. But I’m still stuck in the same place.
    My thoughts & prayers are with them all.

    • Wow, sad and scary story. This community is stepping up in an amazing way. I have had a steady flow of people coming by to drop off donations of stuff, cash, and gift cards. Several people have offered temporary housing, and I have a list of people with furniture to donate. And the community just went through this same process less than 2 months ago for another couple.

  7. Comments here are always so good, one of the reasons I do come to read! You’re a good neighbor! If Mitt gets his way as gop Gov. have been doing, more firefighters will loose their jobs!
    I’m adding a little donation to the others to help.
    Thank you for your post,


  8. The family cat is missing but was not in the house. I have food and water set out in their back yard and will be getting a description of the cat hopefully today so the neighbors can keep a look out.

  9. WakeUpAmerica

    As devastating as this is, they will be forever changed by the kindness of strangers stepping up to help them. While they “lost everything,” they didn’t lose what was important, each other and their friends. The initial shock is the hardest, but they will be ok. Still, I’m sorry for what they have lost. Bless you for helping them.

    • The mom broke down and wept when they handed her the undamaged implant for her daughter. She’s a nurse and very well liked in the community. One lady who dropped by with a donation told me that the mom had been her lactation nurse when she had her daughter. I was out of town when this community effort thing unfolded for the couple who lost their home last month in a fire. Pretty amazing to watch.

  10. WakeUpAmerica

    You might see if your local animal shelter has a cat trap to borrow. Usually they rent them, but under the circumstances….. I found that putting a blanket around it helped sucker them in unless it’s too hot. I spent a several years trapping strays, spaying/neutering and vaccinating them, and finding homes, so I finally bought a trap. Make sure you put water in the trap as well as food and check it often.

    • The family kitty is back. He is hanging out on the front porch. My landlady swept all of the broken glass off the porch and I set him up with food, water, and a kitty carrier with a nice soft bed. We have no place to keep him if we lock him up tonight, because the family is in a motel that doesn’t allow pets. Hopefully they will be able to collect him tomorrow. We gave him lots of love and pets.

  11. WakeUpAmerica

    Salvation Army will usually help with housing too.

    • The family has now cobbled together places to stay for about the next 2 weeks. That may be enough time for them to find a house. Everybody is looking.

      • Boy, was I annoyed today when I came home from work. After specifying only nonperishable food if people want to donate food (the family is in a motel for the next week), I come home to an old used paper bag filled with day old assorted cake slices, pastry slices, etc. All just dumped unwrapped in this grubby old paper bag. Way to be a retard. Then my landlady told me she headed off a big clothing donation (we have piles of clothes now) from a very short wide woman who said she was going to take the stuff to the thrift store but decided to donate it. Melinda is tall and slim and the last thing she needs is a big pile of clothes that would never ever fit. Most people have been great about what they bring, and ask lots of questions about sizes and needs. But there are always a few people who just don’t pay attention.

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