FORT LORAMIE — A Fort Loramie couple was transported by CareFlight after being seriously injured in a house fire Saturday evening, July 28. The community is rallying to provide financial help after the home was declared a total loss.
Fort Loramie Fire Chief Brad Schulze confirmed dispatch received a report of a structure fire at 22 Miami St. in Fort Loramie on July 28, at 8:25 p.m.
“The fire started in the attached garage and burned into the roof and roof rafters of the house,” Schulze said. “The garage was fully engulfed in flames, and fire had already spread to the attic of the house when firefighters arrived.”
The call for help was made by homeowners Mark and Anita Brandewie, who were outside of the brick home when firefighters arrived. Neighbors across the street were administering first aid to the couple as first responders arrived on scene, he said.
The preliminary investigation, Schulze said, indicates the fire appears to have started next to a lawn mower in the garage. The fire then spread from the attached garage to the house.
Fort Loramie Firefighters, along with Russia, Houston, Van Buren Township, New Bremen and Osgood Firefighters worked until almost midnight to extinguish the fire. Schulze said firefighters then returned to the property around 6 a.m. to put out a small rekindled fire.
CareFlight was called to Fort Loramie to transport one of the two burn victims to Miami Valley Hospital. The other occupant of the home was taken by Fort Loramie Rescue to Wilson Health, and from there CareFlight was again summonsed to transport the second burn victim to Miami Valley Hospital.
Also responding to the scene were Fort Loramie Police, Houston and New Bremen Rescue Squads, Minster Life Squad, Versailles Life Squad and the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office.
Schulze said both Mark and Anita are able to communicate and are in stable condition. No one else was at the house at the time of the fire. He noted a few firefighters were temporarily overcome with the extreme heat, were treated on-scene and are fine. No one else was injured in the fire.
The house and garage are a total loss, Schulze said. Also inside the garage were vehicles, motorcycles and tools that were all destroyed by the fire.
The total loss amount of the contents and structure is estimated to be about $500,000.
“There may be a few items that are salvageable, but the majority is a total loss,” Schulze said.
Several fundraisers are being held for the Brandewies by several businesses and members of the community, including an established GoFundMe page.
The GoFundMe page, which can be found at https://www.gofundme.com/f/fundraiser-for-mark-and-anita-brandewie was organized by the Brandewie’s niece, Kelsey Frilling, on behalf of Kevin Brandewie, the page says. According to her Facebook page, the GoFundMe page’s goal has been raised three times because the community has been so generous in giving. As of early Monday evening, and only one day of the page being set up, $25,805 has been raised by 287 donors.
“I just want to take a moment to thank each and every one of you for your generosity! I know the family is feeling all the love and support from this community,” Frilling posted to the Brandewie’s GoFundMe page Monday.
Morrie’s Landing is donating all proceeds earned from beer sales during Ashley Martin’s performance from 7 to 10 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 2, to the Brandewies, owner Martha Holscher said. She also noted that donation boxes for the couple are placed at the restaurant and Fort Loramie Dairy King and Motel, which she also owns, located at 33 N. Main St. The restaurant is located at 11003 State Route 362, Minster, and can be reached at 937-295-2242.
According to Brucken’s Facebook page the restaurant is holding a fundraiser on Monday, Aug. 5, with a percentage of all sales from 5 to 8 p.m. going to the Brandewies. The business is seeking volunteers, age 21 and over, to help bartend the event. The pub’s Facebook page also notes that a donation jar for the family will be placed at the business. Bruckens Pub is located at 10 Elm St., Fort Loramie. The restaurant can be reached at 937-420-2222.
Al’s Place, located at 91 S. Main St., Fort Loramie, is donating proceeds raised from BBQ chicken dinners offered for sale on Sunday, Aug. 4, from 4 to 7 p.m. to the Brandewie family, the restaurant’s Facebook page said. The business can be reached at 937-295-3300.
Break Free Health & Fitness is donating money earned all during the week of July 29 through Aug. 3, from payments for each class taught, including drop-in participants’ funds, and money donated to go directly to the Brandewie family. The gym which offers a variety of spin classes, yoga, TRX and boot camp classes is located at the residence of 10915 State Route 362. Erin Poeppleman, owner of gym Free Health & Fitness, can be reached at 937-729-1368.
“I can’t imagine what they are going through. We’re just doing this out of the goodness of our heart,” Poeppleman said. “(Pulling together) is how our community is.”
The fire is still under investigation by the Fort Loramie Fire Department.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.