By Michael Howell
A Darby couple lost all their possessions in a house fire last Friday. No one was home at the time of the fire. According to Darby Fire Chief Marc Snavely, the fire was contained to the living room and kitchen, however, the remainder of the house suffered severe smoke damage and two dogs were found asphyxiated from smoke in a back bedroom. Snavely said that neither he nor the state fire inspector were able to determine what caused the fire.
“It burned so hot that the fiberglass shower stall in the bathroom melted,” said Snavely.
The couple living in the rental, Kalista Starner and Wes May and their two children, with community help have already found an alternative place to live. Starner said that May tried to enter the home to get their pets but the fire was already burning too hot to go inside. Besides the two dogs that were found asphyxiated by the firemen, she said two cats and a large lizard called a Bearded Dragon also perished in the blaze.
Starner said that the family was working on healing over the loss of their pets but that the community response has been very uplifting.
“The community response has been simply amazing,” she said. Besides already locating an alternative residence she said they have received furniture, bedding and food as well.
Starner said that she and her family were extremely grateful for all the help.
Friend of the family Shay Lind said that a “Starner Family Benefit” page had been put up on Facebook as a way to make donations to the couple. She said an account had been set up at Farmers State Bank for monetary donations. A benefit breakfast has been planned for December 10, from 8 to 10 a.m. at the Darby Clubhouse. The breakfast is free but bake sale items will be available as well as some silent auction items. Darby Mini Storage has donated the use of storage unit #29 as a place for donations to be dropped off on Wednesdays at 5 p.m. and on Saturdays at noon. For more information contact Shay Lind at 370-5365.