Chatfield family loses home to fire, community raising funds to help


SUBMITTED PHOTO Lori Janet, third from right, and her children, Jake, Tanna, Olivia, Camryn and Kaitlyn, lost their trailer to a fire on Feb. 27.
By : 
Gretchen Mensink Lovejoy
Chatfield News

A rural Chatfield family lost its home to fire on the evening of Wednesday, February 27.

Chatfield Fire Chief Ryan Priebe shared that the fire department was called to the Lori Janet home just off County 136.

“We got paged that there was a structure fire at the Janet residence. When we arrived, we found that there was no way we were going to get a fire engine up to the trailer,” he said. “We had to walk up the hill until our wildland pickup arrived to get some water up the hill, which was a couple of minutes, and by then, the trailer was a total loss.”

He stated that he felt the trailer would not have been salvageable even had the firefighters been able to get a truck close enough on the property.

“I think no matter what, the trailer would have been a total loss even if it was accessible because by the time we got there, it was a total loss,” he reiterated. “We believe that the trailer started on fire because of a wood burner in the trailer.”

The family was not home when the fire started, and according to the Lori Janet Fundraiser GoFundMe website set up to raise money to help them recover, they did not have insurance to replace their home and belongings.

The family is currently staying with family in Chatfield, and accounts have been set up for them at F&M Community Bank branches in Chatfield, Preston and Rochester.

Additionally, middle school student council students at Chatfield High School gathered donations for the family as well — to help their classmates — accepted during all lunch periods through Thursday, March 7.