Christina and Kevin Oxley’s home was devastated by a fire Sunday evening after a blaze started by the grill on their back porch and quickly spread to their second story and destroyed their house within about 30 minutes.
Now the family of five is trying to piece their lives back together, and their friends and community are trying to help.
The couple has three young daughters.
Shannon Moore, membership director of the Craig Chamber of Commerce, is organizing a fundraiser for the family as an effort to give the Oxleys resources to get back on their feet. The Skate and Soup Fundraiser will have different soups for $5 and cocoa for $1. The event takes place from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Loudy-Simpson Ice Arena.
“I think it shows community support and the community coming together,” she said. “Everybody comes together in tragedy.”
Christina Oxley, executive director of the Craig Chamber of Commerce, is relieved no one was hurt. Even their three pets made it through without any marks. But it’s been overwhelming to grapple with the loss of their home and most of their possessions.
“It seems like a lot of steps that you need to take and each one of those take time and you don’t know which direction to go,” Oxley said. “Right now, I’m going through boxes of toys and clothes and organizing it so the kids have something to wear to school each day.”
When Kevin Oxley discovered the fire Sunday he rushed his family out of the house and called 911. The fire spread so fast that they didn’t have time to grab anything other than the clothes on their backs. It happened so fast that the two older daughters ran out of the house without any shoes on.
That’s why Moore and a few of their friends are making an effort to collect donations in the form of cash, gift cards and clothes.
“One of the biggest things they’re having a difficulty getting is clothing for the older girls,” she said. “They have just had a difficult time finding clothes.”
Shannon Moore, Michelle Balleck and the community will be hosting the fundraiser at the ice rink so it can be a family-friendly event.
“The girls were so hugely affected by this,” Moore said. “Kids can come and enjoy hanging out with their friends too.”
Non-ice skaters are encouraged to attend the event, as well, as food and good cheer will be on hand, Moore said.
“People don’t have to feel like they have to skate if they come to the fundraiser. They can come and support by having a bowl of soup,” she said.
Christina Oxley said she was overwhelmed by the community support and her daughters’ good attitudes. The whole family had been scared to lose precious family photos and heirlooms, but when they went back into the house they found them unharmed by fire.
“Once they found out they (her daughters) had their pictures, they kind of had a whole new outlook,” Oxley said. “Every now and then they hole up in a corner and say that they are homesick but then they kind of bounce back.”
Erin Fenner can be reached at 970-875-1794 or email@example.com.