Up in flames
Hoodlebug manager and part owner Lisa Hare and her family are homeless now after a fire destroyed their Cherokee home early Saturday morning. They lost all their belongings - including three cats.
"We're lucky we're alive," she told the Pilot Tribune, still in shock. A few more minutes and they may have lost their lives, too.
The fire was discovered and called in by a passer-by, coming home from work. Cherokee Police Officer J.D. Roggee was the first to the scene. When he couldn't get into the house throught the front door, which was engulfed in flames, he woke up neighbor Jordan Frahm who was sure Lisa, her boyfriend Steve Nixon and their 4-year-old daughter Nora were inside. They forced their way through, woke Lisa and Steve on the first level. Nora was retrieved from an upstairs bed room. They exited through a trap door in their kitchen which took them to a cellar with an outside door. It was a quick getaway.
Steve has two other children, Brianna and Will, but neither were at the home at the time of the fire.
The fire department was on the scene for over two and one-half hours. The fire is still under investigation but is believed to have originated on the front porch due to an electrical issue. The Cherokee Police Department noted there were functioning smoke detectors in the house.
All of their possessions were a total loss.
What makes the story even more sad is that the house was just paid off a week and one day prior to the fire.
Friends and family are coming to their aid but at this time they don't have a plan as to where they will go. They are now staying with family members.
Lisa's brother, Scott Marsh, has set up a website at GoFundMe - Nora's Miracle Christmas.
"My 4-year-old niece's house was burned beyond repair on Dec. 1. Nora, her mother Lisa (my sister), and my sister's boyfriend Steve made it out and are okay after some lovely neighbors gave them some warm clothes. However, all of their belongings are gone. Nora lost her toys, shoes, and even her school bag. On top of that, their cats did not make it out. This extremely unfortunate event occurred at a particularly terrible time of year. I need your help in raising money for them so they may replace their belongings and put a down payment on a new home. Together we can help make a little girl's Christmas better than it otherwise would have been."
Donations may be made through this site. (Check it out.) Accounts have also been set up at Heritage Bank in Alta (Lisa Hare account) and in Cherokee at North Star Community Credit Union.
A fundraiser is planned Dec. 17 at Cherokee Pizza Hut, 4-8 p.m.; eat a pizza and a portion of the funds will go to the family.
A fundraiser is also planned Jan. 4 at the Hoodlebug from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. On the menu will be cinnamon rolls, chili and a drink for a freewill donation.