House fire victims respond to generosity from community
February 5, 2009
On a desk in his room at the Holiday Inn Express, Allen Stice has a small stack of papers with phone numbers on them.
They list offers for clothing, furniture and household items that would replace what Stice and his family lost in a fire that consumed their South Auburn Street home Sunday.
Stice spent most of Wednesday on the telephone, calling to thank people for their generosity during the most difficult time in his family’s life.
“I’m overwhelmed,” Stice said between calls to people from Lake Wildwood to North San Juan. “The whole community’s pitching in, and it blows my mind.”
He’s been offered recliners, dishes, chairs, beds, sheets, towels and quilts.
Stice, his wife and daughter can stay at the hotel until Saturday, thanks to an anonymous benefactor and help from the local chapter of the American Red Cross.
Stice, a former auto mechanic, hasn’t been able to work since he had two strokes within a year of each other in 2006 and 2007. He suffered a heart attack in 2002.
His wife, Laurie Stice, works at a convalescent home in Grass Valley. His daughter Breanna is a student at Nevada Union.
The family should have most of what they need by the time they leave the hotel “except a place to go.
“As soon as they get a place, they’ll have everything they need. It sounds like they’re pretty well covered,” said Stice’s mother, Cheryl Munson. “We just want to thank everybody for their support through this.”
Carol Philips with the Pine Tree Quilt Guild donated three quilts to the family.
“We’re willing to give whenever there’s someone in need. All they have to do is tell us,” Philips said.
Ron Grasser of Lake Wildwood has offered the family two recliners.
“We feel real sorry for anyone who loses everything they’ve got,” he said. “It’s a good community, and everybody has to do their part.”
Stice’s friends have set up contribution jars at The Brass Rail in North San Juan and at Bunce’s bar in Grass Valley.
The Stices, meanwhile, are doing their best to thank the community they’ve lived in for years.
“Everyone who helps me out has a story to tell. You can’t shut ’em out. You just gotta listen to them,” Stice said.
Stice also is warning everyone he talks to about fire danger.
“You have zero time,” he said.
Now, Stice is looking for a single-story two- or three-bedroom place for his family.
“Now, it’s time to start over again,” he said. “Just put one foot in front of the other.”
To contact Staff Writer David Mirhadi, e-mail email@example.com or call 477-4239.