Archived Story

Niles family seeks assistance after housefire

Published 6:04pm Tuesday, September 10, 2013

One Niles family is seeking assistance after a house fire that left them homeless.

At approximately 4 a.m. Sunday morning, the Niles Twp. Fire Department responded to a call in the 2700 block of Reynolds Rd. in Niles. According to Fire Chief Gary Brovold, a fire had started in the attic above the kitchen. The fire was put out and the family was able to re-enter.

About five hours later, the fire department was called back to the home when the same area caught fire again.

“There was some insulation that was still smoldering,” said Brovold. “It’s one of the worst problems we deal with. It’s very extensive and difficult to put out.”

Once the second fire was put out, Brovold estimated that the damage estimated approximately $50,000.

According to a friend of the residents, Bill and Sherry Demler and their three children, Tanis, 18, Cameron, 12 and Justin, 16, are living in a hotel until Saturday.

“They just don’t know what they’re going to do after that point,” said Shari Weidman, a family friend attempting to help the family get back on their feet.

Weidman said that the two youngest children, Cameron and Justin returned to school today. Tanis, who has Asperger’s syndrome, is not currently in school.

“We need to figure out how to rebuild,” said Weidman. “We’re looking for donations. Materials, clothes, a bedroom set.”

Weidman is planning a benefit to collect donations and raise money for the Demler family. Until then, anyone interested in making a donation to the Demlers directly or to the benefit may contact Shari Weidman at (574) 214-2707.

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