Family loses possessions, pets in Rio Dell house fire
RIO DELL- A Rio Dell resident and his family recently lost their two-bedroom to a fire. Homeowner Mark Weigelman said,
“It is all gone, all gone.”
The home has been around since 1901, and the family is still in shock, trying to get through the holidays during a tragic circumstance.
"It was very emotional and it still is,” said Weigelman. “What do you say when there is a disaster like this?"
The disaster struck at midnight, on Thanksgiving morning, when the family was out of town, "We absolutely lost everything, we have nothing whatsoever."
Rio Dell Fire Department officials said the fire started in the master bedroom, worked its way up to the attic and extended to the rear of the home. Officials also said the probable cause was from a butane lantern.
"We had two dogs and a cat and they burned up next to the window trying to get out. That was one of the hardest things, because they are like your kids," said Weigelman.
This is not the first devastation Weigelman has been through though, in 2003 his 14-year-old son passed away from Cerebral Palsy,
"My son passed away awhile back and I only had a few items left and they are gone."
The River Life Foundation has stepped in to help his family. Founder Sean Swanson said,
"He needs hope in a hopeless situation and that is what River Life does. We provide hope in a hopeless situation."
The foundation raised nearly $500 from various community members and organization in town.
Swanson said, “He is one little person in the community and we as a community need to come together, stand in the gap to help this family out. It's such a tragic deal."
It is a tragedy that Weigelman said his family will overcome, ”We can not give up, we need to work on getting building materials, we are not going to give up,” he said.
If you would like to help Weigelman and his family you can donate by contacting the River Life Foundation at (707) 362-9384.