House fire and request for assistance

My sister Penny's house caught fire Tuesday night; it started in the attached garage, and there's heavy smoke, heat, and water damage throughout the house. 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 one home at the time; he got out safely along with the two dogs. The cat went missing for a time, but also made it through safely, so no injuries. That's the important thing, of course, but anyone who suggests losing all your belongings is no big deal never had it happen to them.

There was talk 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 furnishings or most of their other belongings.

Some needs:
Michael needs boy 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 especially 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 a little money for their needs, send it to my paypal account at and I'll see to it that they get the money.

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 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 are too far off to help, but your thoughts and prayers are equally appreciated. Getting things back to normal is going to take 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 done on the books for awhile).

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


  1. OMG! I'm so sorry...and, I'm especially sorry that I got rid of a lot of stuff to the local thrift store. We, ourselves, are de-cluttering, and will be putting our house up for sale. If only...

    I'm glad everyone made it out alive. I've never had to live through this sort of ordeal, but I can imagine how painful and sorrowful it is. ((Hugs)) to you and your family.

  2. That's okay, Beth, it sounds like a lot of people are coming together to help them out. Besides, it's good to de-clutter; I'd like to try it myself, sometime. *hugs back* This is, sadly, something I've seen a lot, although not often involving my own family.

  3. I am sorry to hear of this. How sad for them, but how wonderful everyone and the pets made it out ok. Very scary.

  4. It sure is scary; I've seen enough close calls to understand how scary it is. One thing I didn't mention is that one of the dogs is old and blind, so we're especially glad he got out okay.

  5. I'm so sorry for your sister. The same thing happened to my sister-in-law not too long ago. It's terrible. The important thing is that everyone is alright, but it's hard to pick up the pieces and start over. They'll be in my prayers.

  6. Thanks, Laila, it's much appreciated.