Craig resident Kenny Savage lost his 20-foot camper early Thursday morning when his space heater tipped over and sparked a blaze. Savage lost his camper, which he had been utilizing as a permanent residence, and everything inside. An effort is currently underway to help Savage get back on his feet.

Photo by Mary Austin

Craig resident Kenny Savage lost his 20-foot camper early Thursday morning when his space heater tipped over and sparked a blaze. Savage lost his camper, which he had been utilizing as a permanent residence, and everything inside. An effort is currently underway to help Savage get back on his feet.

Efforts underway to help Craig resident who lost home to blaze

How to help:

A benefit account for Craig resident Kenny Savage was activated today at Bank of Colorado, 250 W. Victory Way. Monetary donations can be made in person at the bank. Savage also needs a new place to live. Anyone interested in donating or selling a camper should call Tony St. John at 824-2882 or Joe Ence at 629-2048.

Quotable

“I know it sounds silly to have a space heater running this time of year. I wasn’t expecting this. I just fixed everything up and finally had everything I needed. … Now it’s all gone.”

— Craig resident Kenny Savage

A fundraising effort is underway for a longtime Craig resident who lost his home Thursday morning to a fire.

Kenny Savage, 44, was asleep in his 20-foot camper at approximately 4 a.m. Thursday on east Fourth Street near the Moffat County Fairgrounds when his space heater tipped over and burnt a hole in the floor.

Craig Fire/Rescue firefighters responded to the scene, but were unable to save the camper Savage was using as his permanent home or any of his possessions inside.

Savage was wrapping up nearly three years of improvements to his camper.

The only thing he had left to do was upgrade the windows.

“I know it sounds silly to have a space heater running this time of year,” Savage said. “I wasn’t expecting this. I just fixed everything up and finally had everything I needed. … Now it’s all gone.”

Upon hearing the news, Craig resident Tony St. John began investigating ways to help Savage.

The two met about five years ago through The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and have been close ever since, St. John said.

“He’s kind of treated me like a son in the past,” Savage said of St. John. “When I was younger, I didn’t really have a family per se. We’ve had our ups and downs, but he’s always been there for me. He’s always come through when I’ve needed him.”

St. John opened a benefit account at Bank of Colorado, 250 W. Victory Way, which was activated today.

Monetary donations can be made in person, St. John said.

In addition, St. John has been speaking with representatives at Love In the Name of Christ of the Yampa Valley about acquiring furniture and clothes for his friend.

“But first thing first is we need to find a new place for Kenny to live,” St. John said. “We’re hoping someone out there has a camper they can donate or would be willing to sell at a good price.”

Savage is currently staying at the Colorado Inn and the Red Cross has provided funds to keep him there through the end of the week.

Although he feels blessed to have a roof over his head and a friend like St. John to lean on for support, Savage admits he's uncomfortable depending on the community for help.

He would prefer a hand up rather than a hand out.

But, Savage has endured a lifetime of physical hardships.

He said he was shot at 3 years old, and has suffered a broken neck, back and tailbone.

Three years ago, he slipped into a coma after “an accident” and nearly lost his right arm.

Savage has been surviving on monthly disability payments since then, but he's taught himself how to do things left handed.

He said there’s still a lot he could offer.

“I could paint, if someone needs help with that,” Savage said. “I’ve also written 36 copyrighted songs, so I could give guitar, bass or drum lessons for anyone looking to get on a path with music.”

But, the clock is ticking, St. John said.

Savage can only stay at Colorado Inn through Friday.

Locating a new camper for Savage to live in is the first priority.

“I’ve lived in Craig for 30-plus years and I’ve seen the community come together for people in need,” St. John said. “I would appreciate any help for Kenny Savage.”

For more information or to find out how to contribute, call St. John at 824-2882 or Joe Ence at 629-2048.

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