Community aids family after home goes up in smoke

By Clinton Dick
Ottawa Herald – April 17, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – April 23, 2014

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Kathy Sheldon isn’t sure what her family will do after their home burned to the ground Tuesday afternoon. But she’s grateful for the out-pouring of support they’ve received from friends and neighbors, she said.

“The community has just been wonderful, and there has been a lot of people stopping to help.” Sheldon said Wednesday, “The Red Cross came out, and they were very helpful. They gave us a gift card to get the kids clothes. I don’t know what we are going to end up doing. We haven’t had a second to sit down as a family and talk about it. I just want to get through each day right now.”

The Sheldon home at 2192 John Brown Road, about two miles west of Princeton, caught fire early Tuesday afternoon. None of the family members–which include Kathy and Rob Sheldon and their two children, Cole, 18, and Emilee, 14–were home at the time, though the family’s dogs died in the blaze, Jeff Richards, Franklin County sheriff, said. No other injuries were reported.

Fire damage from the incident was estimated around $600,000, which includes both the house and its contents, Rick Sawin, Ottawa Township Fire Chief, said Wednesday. Owned by the Sheldons, the home was insured, Kathy Sheldon said. The two-story house was a total loss, Richards said.

“(The fire) was all confined to the home,” Richards said. “There were a couple of vehicles in the attached garage that were lost as well. There was a motor home that was nearby (on the property) that (the fire department) kept sprayed down until we were able to get that moved out of there, and we drove it out on the road to keep it from getting damage.”

The cause of the fire was still under investigation Wednesday.

“We called out the fire investigators from the Ottawa Fire Department,” Richards said. “They have specialized training. We held the scene all night and somebody from the State Fire Marshal’s office came down (Wednesday).”

The Ohio Township Fire Department responded with mutual aid from the Pottawatomie, Richmond and Lincoln-Ottawa-Harrison Fire Departments, along with Franklin County Emergency Medical Services and the Franklin County Sheriff’s office.

John Brown Road was closed to through traffic for two to three hours while firefighters got the blaze under control Tuesday, Richards said.

The Sheldons are staying with family members while they ponder their next move, Kathy Sheldon said.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

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