Kennewick Wash. — Earlier this week, a large fire tore through a Kennewick neighborhood. Starting small, roughly the size of an SUV, it quickly spread into a 20-30 acre blaze out of control.
At the end of the whole ordeal, only three structures were damaged out of nearly two dozen threatened. One home is now a complete loss. Wednesday, Action News spoke with the family left picking up the pieces.
Bonnie Striver, a Resident of the Home, recalls the evening of the fire. "I was standing in the corner of our yard, and I felt the heat. As soon as I did, I threw the hose, and said go now, evacuate."
The now scorched areas weren't just a home, or a walking trail, a park for children, or a place for wildlife, but a community now changed by a wind-driven inferno Sunday afternoon.
Chief Chad Michael, with the Kennewick Fire Department, says. "Tough, tough conditions. We saved just under two dozen homes and lost one home unfortunately, but through the Kennewick Police Foundation, we have a couple of gift cards to help get them food and some immediate clothing, and then we work really closely with the American Red Cross."
The family says while they lost almost everything, they're still thankful for the firefighters, who even while battling the blaze, were able to save pictures and pets, and even took the time to save their young son's toys with a fire-proof tarp.
The family says they can't thank the Firefighters enough for their hard work, and care, they say they know how hard they tried to save their home of eleven years. Bonnie says one Firefighter was even injured while trying to make entry to the garage. She tells us she's just thankful they are ok.
"They were going in and out dozens of times, knowing there were animals in there. Looking for them, they ended up bringing out one of my cats who was completely untouched, unharmed, my little Ford. I can't even express how thankful I am for them, all of us." says, Bonnie Striver.
And now, just days after losing almost everything in the blaze, including items left by Bonnie's father who passed away in 2020, the Tri-Cities community is already coming together and donating over $9,000 to a GoFundMe page set up by a loved one, after the family lost their newborn baby just weeks earlier.
Striver, says. "Anybody, even if it was just five dollars they donated, thank you so, so, much. It helps extraordinarily with everything. Whether it's getting food in my kid's mouth tonight, diapers on his butt."
Bonnie and the family say the kindness seen from the community only continues to surprise them.
"It's not the end of our lives, I'm still young I'm twenty-one years old. I have not only my amazing parents, who have said they will co-sign for somewhere for me to live. I have people in this community reaching out, offering extra bedrooms that they have. I also have other people offering services to me, and helping me get a place, even if it means not paying anything upfront like you normally would have to. I have a very good support system. Not only my family but from the community as well."
Bonnie says they are still in need of everything from furniture to kitchen wares, and even silverware to clothes for her boyfriend and son. You can find a link to the GoFundMe page to donate here.