Fund established for fire victims

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— Mary Couch's home, which was torched by a fire last Wednesday, will not be ready for habitation for another three to six months, she said Tuesday.

In the meantime, many of her belongings have been destroyed and the walls and floor at 1153 The Boulevard were heavily damaged by the smoke and flames. Couch, her two children and three dogs escaped the fire.

Couch and her children are living in the basement of a friend's home for the time being and are receiving assistance from both the Red Cross and LIFT-UP of Routt County.

The fire looks to have started in the kitchen, said Fire Marshal Jay Muhme. Muhme is still investigating and has sent evidence samples to a lab where they are being examined.

Couch is used to adversity. She has survived brain cancer and has raised three children on a fixed income, she said.

Now she is asking for help from the community to replace some of the belongings she lost. Couch did not have homeowner's insurance and the items in her home are not covered, she said.

Couch lost her computer and all the data on it, most of the items in her kitchen and most everything else that was on the first floor, she said.

Beth Bagley-Lewis, a friend of the family, set up an account at Community First Bank to help the family get back on its feet. Contributions can be made to the Mary Couch and Family Relief Fund.

"I've been so touched in my heart about this," Couch said. "It's been astonishing, the kindness."

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