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Friends Seek Support for Family Displaced by Townhouse Fire

Tuesday's fire on Summer House Court displaced a single mother, and her two children, ages 8 and 9. Their friends are seeking support to help them rebuild their lives.

A townhouse on Summer House Court was destroyed by fire Tuesday, Dec. 10, and friends are seeking support for the family. (Photo via GoFundMe)
A townhouse on Summer House Court was destroyed by fire Tuesday, Dec. 10, and friends are seeking support for the family. (Photo via GoFundMe)
After Tuesday's fire caused more than $260,000 in damage, including the loss of the family car, a single mother and her two children, ages 8 and 9 of Reston have lost almost all of their possessions. 

They lost almost everything in the fire, and are looking for help in a number of ways. Direct financial assistance can be made through a GoFundMe page, which will help the family with money needed to relocate to a new residence. 

The family could also use donations of gift cards to grocery stores, as well as places like Target. 

In addition, the family lost their entire wardrobe was ruined by the fire, and they have the following needs:

  • Multiple of each of the following items: shirts, pants, undergarments, socks, pajamas, shoes, jackets, gloves, etc.
  • Mom: size medium 10-12, shoes 8-9; style: modern, contemporary. She’s a professional recruiter.
  • 8-year-old boy: sizes 10-12; shoes 3-4; style: athletic
  • 9-year-old girl: sizes 10-12, shoes 4-5; style: girly

The family is hoping to move to a into a three bedroom, two bath home this weekend, and can use the following items to help fill the place, since everything else was lost in the fire. 

  • Mom bedroom/bathroom: Queen mattress (new would be better)and frame, dresser, bedding: theme navy blue/white - sheets, duvet/comforter, pillows. Bathroom: theme navy blue/white - shower curtain, towels, hand towels, bath mat, all bathroom accessories and cleaning suppliles. 
  • Boy Bedroom: bedding (twin bed): theme pokemon - sheets, duvet/comforter, pillows; dresser (light oak would preferred as donated bed frame is light oak), curtains.
  • Girl Bedroom: Twin Mattress and frame, bedding (twin bed): theme girly/frilly - sheets, duvet/comforter, pillows; dresser, curtains
  • Children's bathroom: Theme: neutral/child friendly - shower curtain, towels, hand towels, bat mat, all bathroom accessories
  • Living room: Sitting chair (sofa already donated), coffee table, end table, lamps, work desk/chair, curtains: neutral, TV, TV Stand, DVD Player, Wii Console. 


More information on how to donate specific items can be found here

Cash donations, as well as any of the items listed above, can be dropped off at 11585 Southington Lane, Herndon


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Gil's neighbor December 12, 2013 at 12:00 PM
Didn't they have home owners insurance?? That should cover replacing all if not most of those items. Car insurance would help with replacing the vehicle.
TGD December 12, 2013 at 02:05 PM
Yeah, I was thinking the same thing about the insurance. Also, not to be a jerk, but who lights a candle in their garage and for what reason? That is pretty much the last place I would light a candle since many people store highly flammable things in there. I feel bad for the family, but the story seems odd.
Lavy December 12, 2013 at 03:32 PM
When you read the first 4 paragraphs you can't help but want to provide relief for this family, especially with kids and the holidays right around the corner. Then you get to the list of items with "themes" and it's just frustrating. You just lost everything. You should be accepting anything that people are willing to give you.
Laura Calacci December 12, 2013 at 04:50 PM
I was displaced by the fire 2 weeks ago on Apricot Ct. My insurance company is replacing everything. Clothing, mattresses, even cleaning products and coat hangers. Maybe these people rented the townhouse and do not have a renters policy? If that is the case, they will certainly need donations.
TGD December 12, 2013 at 08:26 PM
That neighborhood isn't cheap to rent in - those are really nice townhomes that go for at least around $2500/month. This woman can afford to pay that kind of rent, but somehow can't pay for renters insurance (which is really inexpensive) and car insurance. Plus, the family doesn't want people to know who they are and they are asking for $15k in donations and very specific items to be replaced?!? I don't like doubting someone is this situation, but something just doesn't seem right.
Brandon Coldwell December 12, 2013 at 09:41 PM
I have to agree with those who have already posted. Candle in the garage? I understand insurance doesn't cover 100% of everything, but it should cover the bulk of it....
Laura Calacci December 12, 2013 at 10:45 PM
All comments here certainly are valid but I learned one thing from my experience. No one thinks this will happen to them. Many leases require the tenant to have a renter's policy, but it is not enforced and is easily overlooked. Let this be a learning experience for everyone. Things can be replaced. No one was injured and that is what really matters. But to judge this family or question the cause of the fire is not helpful. It was an accidental fire. And it can happen to anyone. Make sure your smoke detectors are working properly. Merry Christmas!
Becky Waldrup December 13, 2013 at 12:46 PM
Just out of curiosity - What type of assistance does the Red Cross typically offer in this type of situation? The initial Patch coverage of this fire noted that Red Cross assistance was offered but declined.
TGD December 13, 2013 at 02:08 PM
This is what it says on their web site: After a disaster, communities and families turn to the Red Cross for help—and we stand ready to provide comfort and care—free of charge. The Red Cross helps disaster victims by providing safe shelter, hot meals, essential relief supplies, emotional support and health services like first aid. Trained Red Cross workers often meet one-on-one with families to develop individual plans and identify available resources to help aid recovery. Red Cross disaster relief focuses on relieving immediate disaster-caused needs so that families can get back on their feet and resume their lives as quickly as possible. http://www.redcross.org/find-help/disaster-recovery
hounddogmojo December 13, 2013 at 04:02 PM
As the former President of Baldwin Grove, I can answer some of these questions. Insurance will help, but as we all know, it is not immediate. They have lost EVERYTHING and it is a tragic event especially for the children. Specific color/themes were only posted because people have asked for this information. It is NOT a request that was made from the family. They will appreciate any help. As for the candle in the garage, I don't think we should care what they do in their garage or anyplace else. We are a very close community and our #1 goal is to help.
JMM December 14, 2013 at 07:24 AM
Right, TGD "Not to be a jerk but the next thing out of my mouth will make me sound like a jerk." Right? Someone made a mistake and the consequences were dire. Maybe next time it won't be, TGD or anyone else who's trying to angle a way blame this family for their misfortune. "Sorry, little boy, but even though I'm far more fortunate than you (seeing as my house didn't burn up right before Christmas) I'm just too suspicious and sanctimonious to buy you a set of Pokemon sheets. Good luck, kid. Oh, and Merry Christmas."
Michael December 14, 2013 at 03:47 PM
TGD, What do you know about another family's finances? This could have been one if the many families in our region who pay 60-70% of their income in rent. Or maybe someone whose job was downgraded in the middle if their lease and had to take a paycut. I would never recommend going without renter's insurance, but you and I don't know what choices this family may have had to make. I hope for your sake that you don't live in a glass house, when the time comes for people to throw stones at you.
Kathy Keith December 14, 2013 at 07:42 PM
I agree with you, Michael. However, there are a lot of people living in shelters all the time--not just after a fire. When the friend decided to specify the color and type of linens, I think it sent a message that was misleading to people. I'm sure the family is grateful for help. I did go look at the "help" site, and frankly, I imagine that most of the donors are people who know the family. At this point, it looks like they are getting lots of help, and I think I would rather support other groups at this time. I would hope that the car is insured if the household goods are not.
TGD December 15, 2013 at 01:06 AM
I'm sorry the story seemed odd to me and some other people who posted comments... and it's sad we live in a world where people dupe other people out of money (such as recently that waitress in NJ). I have an aunt and uncle who lost their home and business to Hurricane Sandy, so something like this has hit people I am close with. Of course people came out and supported my relatives through their difficult time - which they are still going through a year later. But, they didn't feel the need to publicly ask for help from friends and family... it came without them asking. This whole story just seemed weird to me and it's one thing to create a GoFundMe page for this family, but to put an actual dollar amount on the web page is a little tacky and can lead some people to believe these people are out to get as much as they can. To me, it all makes them look very materialistic and that's just my opinion from the information in the article. A question - Does anyone know what is the situation with the person who actually owns the house? Is that a total loss for them? I don't know the ramifications for someone not having rental insurance and then how that can affect the actual homeowner. I was just curious...

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