SIDNEY — The Thursday fire of a Maplewood home displaced a family of five, including two children, and destroyed everything they owned. The LeFevre Road home, which is a total loss, had been in the family since 1900.
Cy Baber, son and caretaker of homeowner Lorma Baber, 76, his wife Nancy Baber and their 10- and 11-year-old sons are now staying at the Hampton Inn in Sidney for the unforeseen future.
“Right now, the boys are doing good, thanks to the Sidney Middle School” who donated bags of clothes to them, Cy said. But the family still needs items for the adults.
He said they are hoping to hear something this week from the final insurance inspector to get things settled with the insurance company.
The fire started, Cy said, from a faulty breaker box when they were on the way to his mother’s doctor’s appointment. According to Assistant Maplewood Fire Chief Mike Lanton, someone passing by reported smoke and flames coming from the two-story structure, on Oct. 12, around 2 p.m.
The Sidney Fire Department assisted Maplewood Fire with the fire investigation. Sidney Fire Deputy Cameron Haller said the point of origin of the fire appeared to come from the electrical panel, with signs of arcing, but “the exact cause of the fire is undetermined.”
No one was home at the time of fire and there were no injuries. However, three dogs died of smoke inhalation.
The American Red Cross donated some personal hygiene items, a pre-paid debit card to help with small expenses, and provided contact information of charitable sources in the county, Cy said. Staff at Northwood Elementary School is also taking up a collection for the family, he said.
A couple of Baber family friends posted the family’s needs on their Facebook pages. This surprised Cy. He said they hadn’t spoken to the individual who initiated the plea for help in a few months, but he was very grateful for her help.
“My wife and I were taken aback by the support (of friends and the community),” Cy said. “It’s kind of hard to for me because it’s asking for help. But I’m very grateful. I don’t wish this on anyone. And it’s just very hard (right now) and very numb.”
Cy praised Sidney Middle School, the counseling provided for his boys, Northwood Elementary said Sidney City Schools Superintendent John Scheu, who personally called to ask if there was anything else he could do to help the family.
Below are some of the items the family need for two women, one man and two boys:
• Pants: women, sizes 18 to 20 and 10 to 12; the man, size 42 by 30; boys, sizes 10 and 12;
• Shirts: women, sizes extra large to 2X and large to extra large; the man, size 4X tall; boys, size youth medium;
• Shoes: women, sizes 7, 8 and 9; the man, size 12; boys, sizes 4 and 5.
Anyone interested in donating items to the family may contact Julie Heaton through her Facebook page at www.facebook.com/greenmonkey196721. People can also donate to the family’s GoFundMe account at www.gofundme/wazat-house-fire.
Reach the writer 937-538-4823.