Fire leaves family without Christmas giftsChristmas presents were among items lost when fire destroyed the home of a Superior family of five Tuesday afternoon.
By: Maria Lockwood, Superior Telegram
Christmas presents were among items lost when fire destroyed the home of a Superior family of five Tuesday afternoon. Battalion Chief Vern Johnson of the Superior Fire Department estimated the two-story residence sustained about $30,000 worth of damage from the blaze. The fire began in an upstairs bedroom when a candle lit a curtain on fire, according to homeowner Troy Johnson.
The blaze was reported at about 4 p.m. Firefighters cleared the scene at 5:16 p.m.
The Northland Chapter of the American Red Cross responded immediately to the Winter Street address and Disaster Action Team (DAT) volunteer Amy Arntson provided emergency housing, seasonal clothing, and food for two adults and three children — ages 12, 14 and 17.
“This family lost their presents, tree, and their belongings,” said Northland Chapter executive director Judy Hanne Gonzalez. “There’s nothing sadder than to have such a tragic loss at this time of year.”
No injuries were reported from the blaze, and the family managed to get their two dogs out of the home safely. According to Troy Johnson, the home was uninsured.
The Red Cross provided a three-day hotel stay to the family. According to the Red Cross, the family does have temporary shelter after their stay is up. But they did lose their Christmas gifts, which consisted mainly of clothing. When they spoke with the Red Cross, the family said they would really appreciate clothing for the family. Needed items include girls size 10-12 clothing, boys size 16-18 clothing, extra large men’s shirts and 32 by 34 pants for the 17-year-old, women’s size 10-12 pants and large shirts and extra large men’s shirts and 36 by 38 pants for the father. Items can be dropped off at the American Red Cross, 2524 Maple Grove Road, Duluth, before noon Friday or after Tuesday.
The organization’s office will be closed Monday. For more information on the Red Cross and its services, call (218) 722-0071.
The holiday season is fire season, as well. Gonzalez cited unattended candles, cooking fires and space heaters as prime causes of holiday fires. She urged residents to be especially careful and to have a disaster plan that includes a kit of emergency supplies, an escape plan and a designated place for family members to meet in the event of a blaze.