Neighbor's house burned last night--suggestions? - Mothering Forums
Talk Amongst Ourselves > Neighbor's house burned last night--suggestions?
justKate's Avatar justKate 10:32 AM 04-12-2010
Hi all.

My across-the-street neighbor's house burned last night. They're fine (thankfully). The fire started in the garage from the car somehow and they were able to get out right away.

They have family in the area, and were able to salvage wallets/phones/some other basics. Any suggestions on what I can do for them? They're a couple with a 6 yr. old son. I'm not sure yet where they'll be staying. The fire trucks are still blocking my driveway at this point so that's about all I know for now. I've already taken gatorade out to the firefighters, and someone else brought the neighbor's breakfast at the house next door....

Thanks for your suggestions!

Kate

lakeruby's Avatar lakeruby 10:58 AM 04-12-2010
I'm so sorry to hear that! It's very sweet of you to be thinking of what you can do to help. Maybe organize a neighborhood fundraiser? Once you know where they will be staying, maybe you could offer to bring food once a week, or organize a food drop plan with your other neighbors. I'm sure just letting them know that you're there for them will help a lot!
Aeress's Avatar Aeress 11:16 AM 04-12-2010
We just had a fire in our downtown area that affected many college students- gift cards were very helpful to local stores.
kirstenb's Avatar kirstenb 11:23 AM 04-12-2010
I was going to suggest gift cards too. Maybe some little things for their son- a toy/book/game you think he might enjoy.
34me's Avatar 34me 11:46 AM 04-12-2010
We lost everything to fire when my kids were 8, 10 and 12. Honestly insurance took care of everything it was great but it was awesome to feel "loved". I can't explain it. invite them to dinner, If you are going to get their kiddo some stuff, make it mobile. We moved 4 times in 5 months. Gift cards to restaurants so after dealing with the restoration company they can put their feet up and not worry about saving the receipt to be reimbursed. If they have pets offer to pet sit a bit. If you are friendly at all invite them over for coffee and tears. Both my dh and I work. Since I am part time and he is full, I was left to deal with the restoration company, contractors, insurance company, mortgage company, and since it was summer I also needed to find things to entertain my kids while living in a hotel and going to the laundramat every three days. I was tired and could have used some where to cry besides my car.
velochic's Avatar velochic 12:01 PM 04-12-2010
Immediately, there will be an outpouring of help. As time wears on, they are gong to be dealing A LOT with various companies and agents. Perhaps you could help out by babysitting the 6 yo free of charge when they have to meet with all of these people.
Marsupialmom's Avatar Marsupialmom 12:15 PM 04-12-2010
If they lost clothing - socks, underwear, and bras are all expensive if you have to replace it all at once. They are often not at second hand stores.

If the kid goes to school new back pack and stuff to fill it will be helpful.
Nikki Christina's Avatar Nikki Christina 12:49 PM 04-12-2010
my friends house burnt down last week.. luckily they have been offered a house that is about to be listed for sale (a friend inherited it ) , until they get a new home.. they just have to pay utilities..
we are having a house shower for them thursday..
justKate's Avatar justKate 04:24 PM 04-12-2010
thanks for all of your thoughts. I gave them the key to our house and our garage door opener on my way out to work, so hopefully they'll take advantage. I think the gift cards are a great idea. I just can't imagine how distraught they must be. Actually, dad's in pretty good shape: here's his interview. But I know its going to be a long road for them.
Katie T's Avatar Katie T 04:59 PM 04-12-2010
How scary! Glad every one got out safe! I don't have any other great ideas but I will keep this family in my thoughts and prayers!
just_lily's Avatar just_lily 05:17 PM 04-12-2010
Is any of their clothing salvagable? Could you offer to take it all in and run it through your washer/dryer to get any smoke smells out? You could maybe do that with any linens as well.
Ellen Griswold's Avatar Ellen Griswold 07:09 PM 04-12-2010
DH's grandparents' home burned last year. Gift cards have been a help since they can still turn in the receipts to insurance. I was also thinking that the use of a car/a ride to a store to be able to get things on their own might help.
accountclosed3's Avatar accountclosed3 09:44 PM 04-12-2010
when 4 homes went down in our neighborhood (town homes), we did a variety of things to help the neighbors, but gift cards was the primary one.

we did gift cards to grocery stores, clothing stores, office supply stores (for children's school supplies, etc), and restaurants. we also were able to get businesses to give them gift certificates for things like massages, hair cuts, and so on.

and, we had a big neighborhood party/fund raiser for the local animal shelter in honor of the families' lost beloved pets.
hotmamacita's Avatar hotmamacita 12:13 AM 04-13-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by justKate View Post
Hi all.

My across-the-street neighbor's house burned last night. They're fine (thankfully). The fire started in the garage from the car somehow and they were able to get out right away.

They have family in the area, and were able to salvage wallets/phones/some other basics. Any suggestions on what I can do for them? They're a couple with a 6 yr. old son. I'm not sure yet where they'll be staying. The fire trucks are still blocking my driveway at this point so that's about all I know for now. I've already taken gatorade out to the firefighters, and someone else brought the neighbor's breakfast at the house next door....

Thanks for your suggestions!

Kate
That is terrible. I am so glad they have thoughtful, caring neighbors!

Gift cards if you can swing it financially. If not, clothing, toys and/or homemade food and a card would be so encouraging to them.
gingerstar's Avatar gingerstar 01:04 AM 04-13-2010
What a great neighbor you are!
One thing that is helpful, and it might not be too late, and if you have room, see if there is any salvageable food in their fridge/freezer that you can store for them. Sometimes that is still cold, and they might be grateful for it.
Even just assuring them that you will keep an eye on their property while they have to stay elsewhere might ease their mind.
And as a FF's wife, thanks for thinking to take them Gatorade!
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