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Cuyahoga Falls -- Help from the community continues to pour in for a family of six displaced by a house fire.
Damage to a home at 2026 Third St. that caught fire Jan. 24 is estimated at $70,000, according to a news release issued by the fire department the next day. Nobody was injured.
The fire was an accident caused when cotton balls with nail polish remover on them got too close to a burning candle and ignited, said Falls Fire Lt. Mike Dunton.
"The community is really coming together," said Jen Brandenburg who has been organizing relief efforts. "It's extraordinary watching everyone rally around this family."
Displaced by the blaze are Shelley Carver Harrison, her four children and her mother, said Brandenburg, who is general manager of the Firehouse Grille and Pub where Harrison works. The children, two boys and two girls ranging in age from 10 to 18, are all students in the Cuyahoga Falls City Schools. Since the fire, they and their two dogs and two cats have had to stay with family and friends, Brandenburg said.
Brandenburg has been seeking donations through her work and Facebook. On Feb. 1, she organized an all-day fundraising event at Firehouse Grille and Pub with all tips going toward Harrison and her family. A 50/50 raffle drawing was also planned for that night, with half of the proceeds going to the family.
A basket raffle was to begin Feb. 1 and continue for at least a week, she said. Firehouse Grille and Pub is located at 2097 Front St. Updates on fundraising efforts and the family's needs are being posted on the business's Facebook page "Firehouse Grille & Pub-Cuyahoga Falls."
"Furniture-wise, we are good," Brandenburg said, adding a donor who wishes to be anonymous donated furniture. The family is also "good" after numerous clothing donations. What the family needs is a new refrigerator, microwave, coffee maker, toaster, dishes, cups, silverware, bath towels, bedsheets (for one queen-size bed and five twins) and pillowcases.
Brandenburg said she would like to see the family raise enough monetary donations to be able to put a deposit on a house. She said they don't want to rent any longer, and they don't want to leave the Falls City School District. Harrison herself is a graduate of Falls High, Bandenburg said, and one of her two sons is a senior this year.
"With everything that's happened, it would be a shame if they had to switch schools," Brandenburg said.
Monetary donations may be made to the Shelley Carver Harrison Fire Relief Fund at the Falls Catholic Credit Union, 33 Graham Road, Cuyahoga Falls.
For more information, call Brandenburg at 330-801-6369 or 330-940-2000.