With the help of friends and family, two Prairie Township residents look to rebuild after losing all that was left.
Brothers Tony Fyffe, 22, and Casey Fyffe, 18, watched as flames consumed their childhood home on Mix Avenue the morning of Feb. 11.
“It was almost gone by the time we got there,” said Tony.
“Everything was burnt up.”
According to Prairie Township Fire Department Chief Steve Feustel, the fire started due to excessive use of extension cords within the home sometime around 10:30 a.m.
No smoke detectors were in place in the home, allowing the fire to burn for an extended period of time before the fire department was notified.
“It appeared to have time to burn undetected for a while,” said Feustel.
The winter weather also made the fire harder to fight.
Tony and Casey were able to salvage a few items of clothing left in the laundry room, as well as a few photographs, and their dog, which was outside at the time of the fire. The rest, including two cats and countless family remembrances, was lost.
According to both Tony and Casey, the most difficult items to lose were their mother’s and father’s belongings and keepsakes.
The pair inherited the residence from their parents. Their father died in a car accident four years prior, and their mother died of breast cancer in March of 2006. Both had been living in the house since.
After the fire, Tony and Casey received help from the community and their friends and family.
“Half of Casey’s class from the Southwest Career Academy showed up to help board up the roof,” said Kathy Moore, Tony and Casey’s aunt with whom the two are staying.
Additional aide came from the Red Cross who provided the Fyffe brothers with a $400 voucher to Meijer for clothing and food.
With the help of Tony’s boss, Greg Thirtyacre of Thirtyacre Towing, Moore also set up a trust fund for her nephews, entitled “Fyffe Brothers House Fire Trust,” in hopes that the community will donate to their cause.
“This will help them tremendously,” said Moore.
“For being as young as they are, they’ve been through more in their short lives than most have in their entire lives.”
As a first step to reclaiming a sense of normalcy, Tony and Casey are searching for a new place to live. According to them, everything is a challenge.
“They’re realizing more and more what they lost,” said Moore.
Tony and Casey would like to thank their friends and family for their support over the past few weeks, as well as classmates and co-workers.
Any interested party can make a donation to the Fyffe Brothers House Fire Trust by contacting Chase Bank.