Local family looking to 'start over' after fire claims everything

Zoe Greszler • Updated Oct 25, 2018 at 11:34 PM

WILLARD — A family of five, displaced by a house fire, is seeking the help of the community.

On Saturday afternoon, Willard mother Katie Stover received a phone call she could never have expected — friends and relatives began calling her to tell her that the family’s home was on fire.

Stover said she rushed back to make sure no one was inside the home. She was grateful to find her husband was not at home and her three children were out trick-or-treating.

“The garage was the the only thing standing,” she said of what she saw when she arrived at the 24 Hayes St., Willard. The house served as their home for more than a year.

“I rent and everything in there was sentimental more than materialistic. … All the stuff, the furniture and things in there, were from my mom and grandpa or the pictures and things my kids had made — things I can’t get back. It was mostly all sentimental value like that.”

Stover, her husband Scotty and children ages 7, 9 and 11 are staying in a hotel now, unsure of where they will go next. She said neither they, nor the fire department, were able to determine what caused the fire.

Willard Fire Department officials could not be reached for comment.

"We don’t know what we're doing yet," she said.

Stover's family started a GoFundMe account asking for the goal of $2,000. As of Wednesday, $205 had been raised.

"This young family with 3 children have recently and unexpectedly lost EVERYTHING they own," the account summary said. "Please help them attempt to recover from this traumatic event. The kids need to get back into a furnished home and back to school, they are starting over from absolutely nothing. Anything is appreciated immensely."

The mother said they would use the money as a deposit and to turn on the utilities of a new place, when they're able to find one, and to help pay for the hotel costs they are incurring in the interim.

"We'd use it just to start over, I guess," she said.

Those hoping to to help the family can make a donation to the account at https://www.gofundme.com/96tks-house-fire-total-loss.