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Community steps up to help Lisbon family who lost home to fire

Posted at 5:50 PM, Dec 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-23 19:33:20-05

LISBON — A community is stepping up to help after a family lost their home to a house fire, just days before Christmas.

Cellphone video showed flames ripping throw a Lisbon home Sunday afternoon. Firefighters from half a dozen agencies worked to put it out.

"We were absolutely shocked and devastated honestly," said Ashley Feest who lives across the street from the home.

The house belongs to the Jeskes, a family of five including three young girls. The father is a veteran who served in Afghanistan.

Feest and her family saw a Facebook post from firefighters seeking donations to help the Jeskes, prompting them to bring over a bag of toys for the kids.

It turns out, many other families saw the same post.

"The phones have been ringing nonstop," said Captain Michelle Drager with Lisbon Fire.

"People in and out, the whole time people calling asking what they can do," said Tom Seidl, treasurer for Merton Community Fire.

Within hours Merton Community Fire and Lisbon Fire were overwhelmed with goodwill.

Toys, clothes, and even words of encouragement poured in for the Jeskes.

"Our goal is to give them a good Christmas and to give them a good start on rebuilding their lives," said Seidl.

Carrie Smith showed up to Merton's fire station with her family to drop off clothing donations.

"Hopefully they'll find some happiness in this holiday," said Smith.

The Jeskes were not ready just yet for an interview, but Merton's chaplain, who has been in touch with the Jeskes, says the family is blown away by the kindness and generosity.

In spite of the tragic situation, people hope the Jeskes experience more than loss this holiday season.

"Just how much the community came together for them, and hopefully they do feel loved in this crisis situation that they're in," said Drager.

Merton Community Fire is accepting donations until 5 p.m. Christmas Eve. A family member has also set up a fundraiser on Facebook. To donate visit the Jeske Family Fire Relief Fund.

Lisbon Fire posted the following details regarding donations:

Dad: large tops, 32/33 pant and 10 shoe

Mom: m/l tops, 10 pant or m/l, 6 shoe

7 year old: size 7, dolls, Barbie's and books

5 year old: size 4T, shoes 9, dinosaurs, stuffed animals

2 year old: size 2T, shoes 7, books, Barbie's, puzzles

2T pullups/diapers
Gift cards for groceries