Community

Local family receives support after house fire

From left, Kiauni, Katie and Reille Jones can
From left, Kiauni, Katie and Reille Jones can't even enter the water-damaged ground floor of their home without filter masks, after the Aug. 25 fire that gutted the house.
— image credit: Kirk Boxleitner

ARLINGTON — With Reille Jones starting her freshman year at Lakewood High School, and her big brother Jerrod starting his freshman year at Eastern Washington University, both this September, the house fire that gutted their family's home on Saturday, Aug. 25, couldn't have come at a worse time.

Although the cause of the fire at the Jones' two-story Arlington home is still under investigation, it started in the upper-floor bedroom of Reille and Jerrod's older sister Kiauni, and burned through nearly all the rooms in the top floor within minutes. What few pieces of property the fire didn't destroy on the top floor, it contaminated with soot to the point that they were all rendered unsalvageable.

Katie Jones, mom to the three siblings, added that water damage wrecked most of the ground floor as well, resulting in what she estimated to be a loss of 80 percent of their belongings.

"Jerrod had pennants from every state hanging on his wall, but of course they're all gone now," Katie Jones said. "I'd been collecting clothes for charity, but those were in my bedroom, so we lost them all too."

While the fire left Katie and both her daughters feeling sick, and has forced them to dispose of four dumpster-loads of belongings that have been reduced to trash, all the Joneses agreed on how kind the surrounding community has been, from the daily meals they've received from their neighbors to multiple fundraisers conducted by Reille's Lakewood High School peers, with one student car wash generating $400 and more such events already being planned.

"The Red Cross came out the night of the fire and stayed with us until we had some food, money and clothing, and a hotel room for two days," Katie Jones said, after her husband Brett urged people to donate to the Red Cross. "They treated us like the most important people on the planet."

While the Joneses could still use more clothes, and school supplies for both Reille and Jerrod, they consider themselves fortunate for all the aid they've already received, as well as the fact that they all survived the fire and are together as a family.

You can help out the Jones family through contributions to the "Katie Jones and Brett Jones Fire Donation" account at any Skagit State Bank branch, or via PayPal to candlesfromkatie@gmail.com.

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