The Huskins family lost their home, all their belongings, and their four dogs in a house fire Tuesday near Highway 275 between Glenwood and Tabor.
The family of six — Amanda, John, Brody, Blane, Brevan, and Benny — were returning from football practice when they saw the fire and called rescue services.
The Lewis Township Fire Department, the Glenwood Fire and Rescue Department, Malvern Volunteer Fire Department, Silver City Volunteer Fire Department and the Tabor Volunteer Fire Department worked to put out the blaze.
“We were paged to assist the Tabor Volunteer Fire Department. Flames were shooting out of the roof and the windows, it was pretty much fully engulfed when we arrived there,” said Matt Gray, fire chief of the Glenwood Fire Department.
Two of the dogs had been rescued from the building, but died of smoke inhalation. The other two pets were trapped inside as the floor had already given way when firefighters arrived, Gray said.
The fire departments took multiple trips to provide water in fighting the fire as the rural area was fairly isolated with no fire hydrant nearby, according to Gray.
“I think all of the departments worked together to get the flames under control as fast as we could,” Gray said. “With the roof being compromised and the structure being the way it was when we got there it went pretty well. I’m glad it didn’t happen in the middle of the night when someone was in bed, because it’s hard to get to these rural homes outside of city limits.”
The fire was extinguished around midnight, according to Gray.
After an investigation, it is believed that the fire was started by an electrical issue.
“They lost everything and it’s a horrible situation to be in,” Gray said. “I’ve been doing this for 25 years and it’s something you really don’t like to see. Getting them the help they need and getting them back on track is really important.”
After the fire, a GoFundMe page was arranged for the family, and a collection will be held by the Glenwood Lil Rams football group.
The GoFundMe page was started by Amanda Huskins' long-time friend Jolina Manzer.
“I felt like it was the least I could do, and I knew they would never in a million years start a page for themselves to ask anyone for help. They are always the first to offer help to anyone in need but they would never ask anyone for help,” Manzer said.
Nearly $9,000 of the $10,000 goal has been met since the launch of the GoFundMe page on Tuesday.
The $10,000 amount was chosen so the children could have necessities to go back to school, and enough to help with bills while John Huskins figures out next steps after the fire.
“Anyone that is from Glenwood or knows families from the area know how supportive the community is, especially when a family is in need or going through something like this,” Manzer said. “Everyone really pulls together and we are extremely grateful to be part of a community like Glenwood.”
The Lil Rams football group will hold a collection Sunday for the Huskins family with games held at noon, 2 and 4 p.m.
They will be collecting diapers size 7, clothing for boys size 9/10, 7/8, 4T and 3T. Shoes for little boys size 8 and 11, and big kid sizes 2 and 4.
Food and snacks will be provided and the group will be accepting monetary donations as well.
“I want to thank the community for everything they’ve done for us so far. They’ve been helping us so much. Literally everybody in the Glenwood community has reached out to us,” Amanda said.
An insurance company is currently providing hotel accommodations in the area while paperwork and other issues are taken care of.
Donated funds will help with an ongoing mortgage payment and other expenses.
“There are no words to express how grateful we are to everybody. I would give every single individual a hug if that was possible,” Amanda said.