The community is reaching out to help a family who lost everything, even their two dogs, in a fire that gutted their home on Boxing Day.
The couple’s friend, Nicole St. Pierre, organized a gofundme for the mother and son, who were renting a home in the 2000-block of 200th Street.
Kim Lennon and her visiting sister had to scramble to escape the fire just after 12:30 a.m. on Dec. 26.
Kim’s son Thomas Bennett wasn’t home at the time.
The family lost all their possessions, and didn’t have contents insurance, said St. Pierre.
“They had no insurance at all, they couldn’t afford it,” said St. Pierre. “COVID hit them hard.”
However, since the fire, the gofundme campaign has raised more than $3,000 of a $10,000 goal, and other donations have also come in.
St. Pierre said the family is staying in a hotel for now. After she and her son bought them basic toiletries, other people have brought by clothes, given direct e-transfers of money, and even offered furniture donations once they find a new place to live.
The family has been overwhelmed by the generosity, said St. Pierre.
The fire was particularly tragic because their two dogs went missing. At first it was thought they had run off, and a search was started for them, but two days after the fire, it was discovered they had run back into the home and died in the fire.
LAPS has taken care of cremating the pets’ remains, St. Pierre said.
The fire also displaced another renter, who had to jump out the ground floor window of his suite to escape the flames.