Heidi Zemach for the Seward City News
DJ and Nickole Lyon and their children lost their home to a fire Tuesday night. The house was on Lois Way, in the Box Canyon neighborhood near Exit Glacier Road. They escaped with their pets, and no one was injured or lost their lives, but the house and adjacent garage was a total loss, said Seward Bear Creek Volunteer Fire Chief Mark Beals.
“It’s an unfortunate situation for the family loss of their home and belongings,” he said, but as usual, neighbors and the townspeople are helping out, and reminding us all what it means to live in a small town like Seward.
The Lyon family did everything right, leaving the house and calling for help, and not re-entering, he said. But they managed to rescue very few belongings.
The fire department is fairly sure of what started the fire, but would not say pending investigation by the owners’ insurance company.
Dispatch was notified of a garage fire at 8:00 p.m. and the first unit, from the Seward Volunteer Fire Department got there at 8:10. SBCVFD’s truck arrived at 14 minutes after 8:00. They found the adjacent garage full engulfed, and already extending into the home. It was a wood-frame 2-3 story home.
They made several attempts but were unable to get to the second floor and access the attic area or get into its roof which was where the fire was believed to be spreading into the home. They called firefighters out of the building for safety reasons when it became a concern. After that, the approach switched to defending the home’s exterior.
The response included 16 personnel from the Seward Volunteer Fire Department, 12 from the Bear Creek VFD, and three from the Seward Ambulance Corps. They initially had 86 hundred gallons of water available to fight the fire, but got even more water later in the evening.
The Red Cross was contacted to assist with any immediate needs that the Lyon family may have, and the Lions Club may also be helping them out, along with family and friends, Beals said.
A “Lyon Family Benefit Fund” account has been set up at Wells Fargo Bank for anyone willing to donate. The Seward City Church and its members have organized meals for the family and a fundraiser has been organized at the American Legion on January 25 from 4-8PM with a spaghetti feed and auctions planned.
The volunteer fire department has been fairly busy so far this year, 2014; eight or nine responses to fires and medical emergencies, beginning with a stack fire soon after the New Year, also in the Exit Glacier area, Beals said.