House Fire

SUTTON – Sutton and surrounding communities rallied this weekend around a family of four who reportedly lost their home and most if not all of their belongings in a house fire here Friday.

Volunteer firefighters from Sutton, Clay Center and Grafton were called to the blaze Friday morning, Clay County Emergency Management Director Tim Lewis reported in a social media update to the community.

The house reportedly stood at 811 S. Saunders Ave. South Saunders, which leads traffic from U.S. Highway 6 into downtown Sutton, was closed for several hours while the firefighting operation was in progress.

Emergency medical services personnel from Sutton remained on the scene to tend to any needs as the firefighters battled the blaze.

The family made it out of the house safely, Lewis said. The household included two adults in their early 40s and a 15-year-old girl and a 9-year-old boy, both of whom Lewis said are students at Sutton Public School.

Lewis described the fire in the multi-story frame structure as “hot, active and stubborn,” requiring a lengthy response by the firefighters.

Embers embedded in burned materials then reignited Friday evening, prompting Sutton firefighters to return to the scene, extinguish the blaze and apply additional fire retardants to prevent another flare-up.

Several efforts are under way to help the family in distress. A GoFundMe page was set up on the internet by Michelle Cantu on behalf of the family, which she said includes her sister Catalina Sanchez, her brother-in-law Mario and her niece and nephew.

“Thank God everyone is safe,” Cantu said, adding that money raised through the page would help pay for clothing, household items and other needs the family is facing.

She also asked for prayers for the family.

As of Sunday evening, $4,720 had been raised through the page. The link is

According to Lewis, other efforts to help the family are under way through Brown’s Foods, which has established an account for them; Cornerstone Bank, which will be setting up a benefit account; and St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Sutton.

COAD, a county emergency support volunteer organization led by members of the Edgar community, brought over emergency personal items for all members of the family in the wake of Friday’s blaze, Lewis said.