Friday, November 10, 2006

More House Fire Information

Below is a news story referring to the house fire that I wrote about yesterday. If you wish to make a donation, please click on the donate button on the left column. I will personally see that all money gets properly delivered.

Fire destroys court clerk's Bethel home <story link>
By Kim Morava
Staff Writer

Pottawatomie County employees, local attorneys and others who know deputy court clerk Suzy Ellis have joined to help her after a fire destroyed her Bethel home Wednesday.
Bethel and Shawnee firefighters fought the blaze at 18006 Stevens Road. Shawnee fire crews were dispatched about 1:18 p.m. to offer mutual aid to Bethel.

When they arrived, heavy fire was showing at the east side of the frame structure. Entry was made for an interior attack, but the roof collapsed, making the structure unstable, their report said. Firefighters then went into a defensive mode.

The home and contents are a total loss.

Ellis and her son, Jeff Hearn, were longtime renters at that home, which was owned by James Boatman, the report said.

Hearn was at home taking a shower when the smoke alarm sounded. He was able to safely exit the burning home.

Ellis said they had no renter's insurance.

On Thursday, as the loss of their home and everything they owned remained unsettling, Ellis and Hearn found some comfort in the support from Elllis' co-workers at the Pottawatomie County courthouse. Several have donated money to help her rent another home while others were coordinating efforts to collect household items Ellis can use once she finds a new place to rent.

"I appreciate all the help everybody has given," Ellis said.
To help with immediate needs Wednesday night, the American Red Cross responded to the fire scene to provide food, clothing and other needs for Ellis and Hearn. The ARC will continue to meet with the family to determine more long-term recovery plans. The ARC provides assistance free of charge to those displaced by fire, thanks to those who contribute to the organization throughout the year.

Ellis, who said they are staying with her daughter until they can find a new place to rent, added that everything helps.

"Everyone's been so kind and generous and I appreciate it," she said.
Shawnee's report estimated loss of the structure at $50,000.

Anyone wanting to help Ellis can call the court clerk's office at 273-3624 for more information.
Kim Morava may be reached at or 214-3962.


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