Family down but not out following house fire

When Debbie Evans’ home burned down the day after Christmas she wasn’t the only one who lost something.

"So you're looking at 30 kids who have lost their childhood home," said Evans. “What's harder on me is telling the kids you can't come home."

Evans’ parents moved into the Otis Orchards home in 1995. On top of raising their own kids, they cared for dozens of foster children. Evans followed in her parent’s footsteps.

"You tell the kids it's going to be okay,” she said. “You'll get another house and you'll be able to come home."

Evans says her and her family are lucky to be alive after the mobile home burned down Saturday.

"We were just getting up,” she said. “They yelled 'fire' and you run, you just run."

The fire started on the front porch, blocking the family’s only way out. They managed to escape with only the clothes on their backs. Evans’ two and three-year-old niece and nephew were thrown through the flames to safety.

Unfortunately, Saturday’s fire isn’t the worst thing to happen to the family in recent times.

Evans' husband Kevin has Huntington’s Disease which is attacking his mind and body. Doctor’s say he only has 18 to 24 months to live.

"There's nothing you can do at the moment,” said Evans. “I don't even know what the hell to do at the moment."

It’s been a month the family would like to forget.

"We had the wind storm, we were without power for days," said Evans. "We had a tree go down across the other end of the driveway."

Last year, Evans was told she could not get insurance on the home because it is too old.

“It’s considered a shed,” she said.

Removing the pile of rubble that was once her house will cost $5,000 to $10,000.

But as dark as times may seem, Evans finds hope in all the kids who filled the home with memories.

“We’ll figure it out, these are just possessions,” she said. “This is going to have to be torn down and we’ll just get another mobile home.”

Until then, Evans says her friends and family will trump anything else life may throw her way.

"The emotional is more valuable than anything that was lost in the house."

Evans has already received support through her GoFundMe account and Helping Hands Spokane/CDA Facebook page she helps manage.

In addition, the American Red Cross placed Evans and her family in a hotel for a few days. 

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