Friends of a family who lost almost everything in a house fire are asking the community to help the mother and kids who are struggling with the tragic loss.
The mother tells 11 News she and her six kids are trying to stay strong and is taking the tragedy one day at a time.
Greta Braun says it was surreal and heartbreaking to walk through this house for the first time after the fire.
"There's nothing; ash. Christmas trees burnt to rubble, my son's beds, toys all their stuff that I fought to get them for Christmas is gone, my daughter's dolls melted,” said Greta Braun.
The mother and her family of six children are left with next to nothing after a house fire on New Year’s Eve Day. The 6 kids range in ages from 5 year old to 16 years old.
"I worked so hard and it was gone in five minutes. Stuff that’s really hard to come by when you don’t make enough barely to make ends meet. I make enough to get us through and it’s gone and I have to start from scratch with nothing,” said Braun.
It’s been a tough year for the hard working single mother. She just received an associate’s degree to become a paralegal. She had a job for a short time in Denver, but lost it. She went four months without a job. Now she is working the graveyard shift and babysitting kids during the day, working paycheck to paycheck to afford the bills. She is also struggling to pay for a surgery that saved her health.
"I've made critical choices to better my life and for my kids and losing my job, it's just been a very hard struggle and we were just starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel and now we've lost our home,” said Braun.
She tells us the fire was started accidentally by her young child, who found a lighter left behind by a visiting relative.
“It's a huge burden on his shoulders to know that cause of his actions we lost our home,” said Braun. She adds, “We try to instill in our kids that matches, lighters are dangerous and until something like this happens they don’t realize and my son is deathly scared now of fire.”
Family friends are asking the community for help for the family who couldn't afford renter's insurance.
“She almost didn’t have a Christmas for her kids, just trying to get back on her feet financially from not having her job. So we’re trying to get her a little help, she really does need it,” said family friend Vicki Fraker. “It’s important to help the kids more than anything. It’s hard for them to have to go through something like this; it’s tragic.”
The landlord of the mother and kids are helping them find a temporary apartment until the house is fixed up. It is not a total loss, but they have to replace nearly everything inside.
The family says they could really use clothes, food, furniture, and toys for the kids.
If you would like to help, contact the mother, Greta Braun.
Her email address: firstname.lastname@example.org