Family doing well after fire destroys home |

Family doing well after fire destroys home

Noelle Leavitt Riley
Charity and Greg Neal, and their three boys, lost their Craig home to a fire last Friday.
Noelle Leavitt Riley

If there’s one word that describes how the Neals feel after their home was destroyed by a fire last week, it’s grateful.

“We’re doing the best as can be expected. The first thing is we want to thank all the first responders,” Greg Neal said. “The neighbors and the community have been fantastic.”

On Friday afternoon about 1 p.m., Craig Fire/Rescue was paged to a structure fire at 1446 E. 11th St. in Craig. Upon arrival, firefighters immediately started battling flames that had engulfed the entire south side of the home.

The blaze moved to the middle of the home, and eventually flames began to fume from the roof.

Craig Fire/Rescue worked quickly to suppress the fire that was completely extinguished by 4:30 p.m. The house was a complete loss.

“Very little was salvageable,” Greg Neal said, noting that they were able to save some family photos.

Greg and Charity Neal have three boys age 8, 10 and 13.

“The boys are doing very well,” Charity Neal said. “It’s really hard on everyone. That’s the only house they’ve ever known. My husband bought that house a month before we started dating, so our whole lives were there.”

No one was injured in the fire, and Craig Fire/Rescue Chief KC Hume was able to save the family’s 5-month-old Golden Retriever named Dizzy. Two blue bellied lizards and a goldfish perished in the fire, Greg Neal said.

The fire started from hot materials located next to combustibles outside, Hume told Craig Daily Press last week.

Charity Neal is the public health director at Northwest Colorado Health. She started working for the organization in 2014, after leaving The Memorial Hospital. A few of Charity Neal’s coworkers set up at Go Fund MeGo Fund Me site in hopes to raise $10,000. site in hopes to raise $10,000.

Go Fund Me site in hopes to raise $10,000.

“We’re supporting the whole family,” said Suzi Mariano, director of marketing and development for NCH. “The Go Fund Me was great way for our employees to show support. It’s important for us to support her, because she’s done so much for us.”

The Neals will spend Thanksgiving in Craig at their neighbor’s home.

“We’re fortunate to have housing taken care of in the near future, so we don’t have to make big decisions quickly,” Charity Neal said, noting that their neighbors are currently out of town, so staying in their house was an easy move.

Their home did have insurance, but the couple has no idea if the insurance company will cover the damages.

“I certainly hope they do. It’s too early for us to get into that,” Charity Neal said.

Greg Neal is a financial advisor and a health insurance broker in Craig. He owns West Slope Health Insurance.

“We are just so incredibly grateful for the fire department, the sheriff’s department, the police department, friends and coworkers,” Charity Neal said. “We knew we lived in a great place. You get a totally different perspective when you’re on the other side (this type of situation). It’s a humbling experience.”

Contact Noelle Leavitt Riley at 970-875-1790 or Contact Noelle Leavitt Riley at 970-875-1790 or or follow her on Twitter @noelleleavitt.Contact Noelle Leavitt Riley at 970-875-1790 or or follow her on Twitter @noelleleavitt.

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