Smoldering piles of debris are all that remain of Kathleen Foos' home in Phippsburg after an early morning house fire on Tuesday in the small community south of Oak Creek.

Photo by Brian Ray

Smoldering piles of debris are all that remain of Kathleen Foos' home in Phippsburg after an early morning house fire on Tuesday in the small community south of Oak Creek.

South Routt rallies around fire victim

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How to help

A fund for Kathleen Foos has been set up at First National Bank of the Rockies in Oak Creek. Donations can be sent in Foos' name to P.O. Box 68, Oak Creek, CO 80467. For other donations, call Foos' daughter-in-law, Jennifer Larsson, at 819-7225.

A grocery fund has been set up in Foos' name at Montgomery's General Store, 24 Main St. in Yampa.

— South Routt residents have stepped up to help fire victim Kathleen Foos rebuild her life, after her Phippsburg home burned to the ground Tuesday.

The Red Cross contacted Foos early Tuesday morning to offer lodging and clothing for her and her family, and that was only the beginning of the generosity the community has shown one of its own, Foos' son Titus Larsson said.

"It comes at an inopportune time, especially with the holidays coming up, but there's some good that has come out of it," Larsson said. "We've seen how giving this community really is."

"There's a lot of folks praying for her," Foos' friend Lynny Huston said.

A fund benefiting Foos has been set up at First National Bank of the Rockies in Oak Creek, and Weston's Country Corner is planning a spaghetti dinner fundraiser in Yampa next month.

A grocery fund has been set up at Montgomery's General Store, and Royal Hotel owner Bill Ager donated a month of lodging in Yampa, Huston said. Oak Creek's gas station also has begun to collect clothing and furniture for Foos.

Foos awoke just after midnight Tuesday to find her house already ablaze, and she escaped through a bedroom window with her son and 11-month-old grandchild. The fire is presumed to have started from ashes in the fireplace, Larsson said.

"By the time they were out of the house, the garage was already engulfed and the house was catching," Larsson said.

The three occupants were treated for smoke inhalation at the scene. Foos' son Jules Hedemark also suffered minor burns, Larsson said.

"Jules was actually close enough, the way he exited the fire, to have his nose blistered," Larsson said.

The fire gutted Foos' home, garage and vehicles on Haymaker Lane, leaving only the fireplace and chimney standing.

"She lost everything," Larsson said.

Foos' dogs are thought to have been lost in the fire, and Larsson fears the cats met the same fate. Although they were outdoor animals, they have not been seen since the fire, he said.

Tuesday's fire was the latest setback for Foos and her family. On May 20, Jules Hedemark was injured in a car accident near Routt County Road 25 west of Phippsburg. He was flown to Denver Health Medical Center, where he stayed for weeks. He returned home this summer and has been recovering from brain injuries.

On June 23, Foos' 17-year-old son Sam Hedemark was killed in an oil tank explosion near Chapman Reservoir in Rio Blanco County. The explosion occurred during a party attended by about 20 people in the Routt National Forest, killing Sam and 19-year-old Chris Fuller.

Foos' home was not insured, but she plans to eventually return to Haymaker Lane, Larsson said.

Comments

Scott Wedel 6 years, 11 months ago

Yet another article written with the most important facts last instead of first.

Last sentence "Foos' home was not insured,..." and so the only help they'll receive will be from the community.

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