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Family struggles to rebuild after devastating loss

Published: Jan. 25, 2021 at 8:12 PM CST
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MERRILL, Wis. (WSAW) - Kevin Hanson expected a quiet evening at home Saturday night. He’d visited his mother who recently recovered from COVID-19. He put his two-year-old son to bed, then dozed off watching T.V. Then, he watched as his life literally went up in flames.

“I must have passed out – I woke up to an awful smell in the house. And I heard the smoke detectors going off. You know the beeping and everything, and saw the haze of smoke going through the house, and quick ran in the bedroom, grabbed my son.”

Hanson got his son to safety. Then he looked for his wallet and keys. That idea was soon abandoned to rescue the family’s three dogs.

“I got all three dogs out. One little puppy got a little bit of singed hair, but that’s about it, but it’s up and running around, doing fine and stuff,” he said.

Once everyone was in a vehicle at a safe distance, he called the Corning Volunteer Fire Department. But it was too late.

“And I just literally sat there and watched everything burn, because there was nothing I could do about it, you know,” Hanson said.

Snowy conditions that night made it difficult for the volunteer fire crew to get there in time. All they could do was contain the inferno. In the aftermath, Hanson had to tell the news to his partner.

“I just started crying instantly, because I was in the hospital. I was in the hospital for about, roughly a week at the time. And then Kevin had called the hospital and they told me my house burned down,” Angela Volm recalls.

Volm checked herself out to be with her family. Her daughter took them in to share her small, two-bedroom house.

“I never thought I would have been in the position to step up and be there for them and having them in my home every day and helping them get back on their feet. Always figured it would be the other way around you know?” said Angela’s daughter Kea Rose Verville.

Hanson was switching insurance companies at the time. And that small lapse came at the wrong time. Still, the family is thankful for the donations they’ve received so far.

The people that have donated stuff already have been amazing. We have clothes and everything so far, it’s been awesome. I’m grateful for everyone that has brought donations in and just dropped them off at her house and just left them. It’s been amazing,” said Volm.

A Go-Fund-Me has been set up to assist the family.

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