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August 18th, 2011

house fire -- request for assistance

My sister Penny's house caught fire Tuesday night; it started in the attached garage, which was gutted, and there's heavy smoke, heat, and water damage throughout the house. I'll find out in the morning whether the family, or some of them, might be moving in with me and Emily -- I've got a double bed and two couches free.

My brother-in-law was the only person home at the time; he got out safely along with the two dogs. The cat went missing for a time, but apparently also made it through safely, so no injuries. That's the important thing, of course, but anyone who insinuates that losing all your belongings is no big deal never had it happen to them.

There was talk at first of condemning the house, and the garage is definitely gone, as is the utility room. Unfortunately, they'd just returned from vacation with many loads of dirty clothes, so much of their clothing was still in the utility room and is lost. The flooring's all ruined, and it's not looking good for the furnishings or most of their other belongings.

Some of their needs:
Michael is 10 and needs sizes 14-16 or 14 husky
Christian is 5 and wears size 6
Hailey is wearing sizes for 24 months
Chris wears size 34 pants and XL shirts
Penny wears size 8 or 9 pants and medium to large tops.
Last I checked they were specially in need of towels, washclothes, sippy cups and bottles, women's size 8 shoes, or men's size 9 tennis shoes.

If anyone wants to donate any cash to their needs, send it to my paypal account at ozma914@hotmail.coma and I'll see to it that they get it.

Although she hasn't mentioned it, I'd imagine the kids could really use some toys; Michael is a huge Star Wars fan and probably lost all of his collection. Now that I think of it, Penny probably lost her signed copy of Storm Chaser but I'll take care of that when the time comes.

Regardless of whether they get other housing through insurance, I'm going to try to get the house decluttered and ready for whatever might come along between now and when Emily goes back to school Monday ... not to mention we need to go through all of our own stuff for bedclothes and the like (never have I been so glad to be a hoarder), and maybe find a place to store whatever we get until they've got more permanent housing. Penny Bortner-Rogers listed a phone number on her facebook, but if anyone has anything they don't need, you can contact me -- I realize most of you are too far off to help, but your thoughts and prayers are equally appreciated. Getting things back to normal around here is going to take some time and effort. Meanwhile, although our internet router died at home, I'll still be around on e-mail (although there won't be much work getting done on the books for awhile).

Thanks to the Fort Wayne Fire Department for their efforts in fighting the fire.

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