FRYBURG — A home fire resulting in a total loss for a family of eight in Fryburg has resulted in an outpouring of help for the family.
Nancy and Chad Steinke’s 14-year-old son, Levi, was the only person awake in the residence at 11:38 p.m. Sunday playing video games when he noticed an orange glow coming from the kitchen. His immediate response possibly saved the family from losing any one of its members.
Levi quickly went to his brother’s room and woke him up. The two went around the home and woke everyone up. C.J., 17, Josie, 16, and Isaac, 12, along with Levi, 2-year old twin foster children, and the parents, were able to safely get out of the home.
Chad Steinke went to the kitchen in hopes of putting the fire out, but by that time the kitchen was already completely engulfed in flames. The family was able to exit the home and get a safe distance away from the home, but they sadly stood and watched as everything they owned burnt to the ground.
“Everybody is healthy,” Nancy Steinke said. “We are just heartbroken.”
St. Johns Fire Chief Rodney Campbell said a monetary value has yet to be put on the fire, but it has been declared a total loss.
“The structure and all of its contents were lost,” Campbell said. “The family escaped with the clothes on their back.”
The home was located at 15561 Main St in Freyburg.
Campbell said a cause of the fire has yet to be determined due to the all-encompassing nature of the loss.
He said an insurance investigator planned to visit the scene today to try and determine a cause.
“Our son did a great job responding and getting everyone help,” Nancy Steinke said.
The family was able to get several market goats that were 4-H projects to safety. The Steinke children have always participated in projects for the fair.
Alice Schmerge, an aunt to the family, said response to the family in their time of need has already been amazing.
“There have been clothes and all kinds of stuff dropped off,” Schmerge said.
The response from the community has been so impressive for the family who literally had to run out of house.
Schmerge said anyone wishing to donate items can drop them off at 09279 Shelby-Fryburg Road. A monetary donation account will also be set up this morning at First National Bank in Botkins for anyone wanting to donate to the family.
Nancy Steinke said the family has been able to get the bare necessities from the outpouring of the community.
“We are going to go through the clothes tomorrow (today),” Nancy Steinke said. “We are very fortunate to have the community and family that we have. The kids are crushed and we have lost everything that we worked for. We just want to thank everyone that has been there for us and supported us. We are in limbo right now.”
The Steinkes been able to secure temporary living quarters for family members for now between relatives living in the area.
While they expect nothing, Nancy Steinke said if people feel the need to help, monetary donations are what would best help the family.
“We just don’t have a lot of space right now,” Nancy Steinke said, through teary eyes.
The Steinkes said they also wanted to thank the firefighters, the American Red Cross, and all other personnel that have helped them in this rough patch of time.