Family loses everything in fire
June 20, 2002
Friends of a Douglas County family left homeless by a Father’s Day fire have opened a trust account for them in the hopes the community will help the family to rebuild.
“We want to help get them back on their feet until they can iron out things,” said purchasing manager Bob Copple of Polyphaser Corp., where Jill Adams works.
Adams, 33, her boyfriend Rick Harding, 34, and their three children — Dakota Stone, 11, Spencer Harding, 10, and Kyle Adams, 6 — were forced from their Spatter Cone Road home in Topaz Ranch Estates on Sunday by an early morning fire that destroyed the home they’d purchased only three months before.
Harding, awakened at 6:30 a.m. by Adams, raced through the fire-engulfed living room to the bedrooms of their sons, helping them escape through a window.
Adams jumped from her bedroom window with a comforter and ran to the the other side of the house. She said within 15 minutes the home was leveled.
She says Harding saved the boys’ lives.
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“In my eyes he’s a hero. He’s very modest about it all. I may have woken everyone up, but he is the one who ran through the house and saved the boys. My jumping out the window and going around would have been too late,” she said.
The family was left with only the clothes on their backs.
In addition to the home, they lost their cars and three pets — an iguana and two rabbits.
They were able to rescue their dog, which was in the back yard.
“We’re hanging in there. Trying to think positive and get our lives back,” Adams said from her mother’s home Wednesday in Gardnerville where the family is staying. “Everyone has been helpful and generous and supportive and that’s what’s getting us through this. I can’t believe how people have come through for us.”
Adams said investigators haven’t yet told the family the cause of the fire.
“It could be any number of things,” she said. “It was an older mobile home that had been vacant for a while.”
She said the couple was finally achieving the things they had work so long for.
“We’d just bought our first home. We’d just purchased a new car. It seemed like everything we had been working for we were finally starting to get,” she said.
Copple said he hopes people will donate and lessen the devastation the family has suffered.
“He saved his three children on Father’s Day; that is a pretty good story. I think that touched a lot of hearts.”
He said the family is in need of everything from transportation to children’s clothing.
Adams and Harding haven’t yet returned to work, but are hoping to by next week.
They’ve spent the few days since the fire trying to organize their thoughts and make a list of their possessions. The boys have been clinging to the dog.
Adams isn’t sure if the family will rebuild or start new.
“We’re still in the what-happens-now phase,” she said. “We’re still together and that’s what matters.”
YOU CAN HELP:
Donations for the family can be made at any Greater Nevada Credit Union branch, account number 811383.
For nonmonetary donations, call Bob Copple at 783-0241 or Gloria Rasberry at 783-0216