GLENVIL — The Glenvil community is banding together to help a family who lost their home and belongings in a house fire last week.
Clay County Emergency Manager Tim Lewis said in an email statement Monday that Glenvil residents are supporting the Wagoner family as best they can using a Facebook page, titled Glenvil Highlights, to coordinate cash and material donations. Cash donations also are being accepted at the Glenvil Post Office.
Lewis said a family being disrupted by a major fire is always a traumatic event.
“Recovery takes time, effort, support and community,” he said. “Cash donations allow for the family to gain control of their lives … and begin to rebuild by selecting and buying personal items they need to sustain them.”
Fire destroyed the Wagoner home at 401 Bruce St. on Jan 13. Firefighters were called about 6:48 a.m., and the Glenvil Fire Department responded. Upon arrival, firefighters saw active fire coming from the home and called for mutual aid from firefighters in Clay Center, Fairfield and the Hastings Rural Fire Department.
All occupants home at the time of the fire were able to evacuate without physical injury, including two adults and a 9-year-old child. A 14-year-old sibling had spent the night in Hastings.
Glenvil emergency medical technicians provided comfort and shelter to the family during the firefighting efforts, and Fairfield EMTs helped with traffic control.
Black Hills Energy crews responded to shut off natural gas to the home and make sure that the line was safe for other customers. South Central Public Power District personnel responded to disconnect the electrical power to the property so firefighting operations could be completed safely.
Firefighters cleared the scene following fire suppression, overhaul and investigation at 11:15 a.m. Per department protocol, the Nebraska State Fire Marshal’s Office was called to help investigate the origin and cause of the fire.
Fire destroyed a major part of the home, with extensive smoke and water damage to the rest of the home. The home was a total loss. The occupants lost all their belongings.
Some personal care items were donated the day of the fire to replace immediate necessities for the family. The children’s schools were notified of the incident and began to develop support and outreach for the children.
Lewis said the most important part was that no lives were lost in the fire. He said operational smoke detectors are critical in giving residents advance warning to make their way to safety.
“Having working smoke detectors is a necessary part of our lives,” he said. “Check them and change batteries when you change clocks for standard and daylight savings time.”