SANDY, Ore. – A Sandy family is recovering after a fire thought to be extinguished reignited hours later to destroy their home, workshop, two cars and a boat last week. But they say they’re lucky to be alive.
The fire started Thursday in the large shop outside the home, where the father and two sons were working on a car with a torch.
The shop, which held two Jeeps and a fishing boat, was quickly demolished. Firefighters managed to stop it from spreading to the home.
But somehow the flames kicked back up a few hours later.
“And then the fire had kind of worked through the shop to what was a door here,” Marcus Blackmon says, pointing to the area where his kitchen used to be. The fire spread on the lower level, and then damaged the top floor. The house was destroyed, an estimated loss of $250,000 to $300,000, plus about $200,000 worth of contents inside.
“I’m a firm believer that anything can be fixed,” Marcus says. “I’ll just see what the insurance guys say.”
His wife JeraLi says she’s just trying to handle it one day at a time.
“It’s your life. It’s your family. It’s your home, you know,” she says. “It’s a whole lot of stress to deal with.”
She says she stressed, but also buoyed by the way this fire has pointed out the generosity of others. She found it in students where she works, at Sandy High School.
“I had to go back to work because of finals and I was thankful I did because it was really beautiful to see how young kids come together for their community,” she says. “It’s a good thing.”
It’s hard not to lament all that was lost inside the home--the family heirlooms that can’t be replaced, from generations past, and from two sons—but JeraLi understands it could have been much worse.
“We have their lives. That’s what it boils down to,” she says. “You’ve got to get over it and let it go and move on. And keep smiling and not let life get the best of you.”