Neighbors Help Retired Firefighter’s Family Recover After Blaze Ruined Home: ‘It Brings Tears to Our Eyes’

On March 5, a chimney fire ravaged Chris and Stephanie Lawton's new home. This is a photo of the family. (Joey Lawton/GoFundMe)
Joey Lawton/GoFundMe

Community members in Wisconsin are helping a retired firefighter and his family get back on their feet after a fire engulfed their house Friday.

“At least two online fundraisers and two drop-off donation sites have been set up in Wisconsin Dells and Baraboo to help Chris and Stephanie Lawton recover after a fire destroyed their home at 911 Fawn Court,” Madison.com reported.

No injuries were reported at the time, but Joey Lawton, Chris’ brother, said the couple lost all of their belongings. He said the family moved into the home just two months prior to the incident.
“I hadn’t even been to their house yet,” he continued.

Restaurant and bowling alley Chalet Lanes & Lounge shared a photo Sunday of the Lawton’s house and said the community “always comes together when there is a family in need”:

This community always comes together when there is a family in need. Chris and Stephanie Lawton lost everything in the…

Posted by Chalet Lanes & Lounge on Sunday, March 7, 2021

“They’re the perfect recipient for our next Giving Sunday Cheeseburger Fundraiser. For every Cheeseburger Basket we sell on Sunday March 14th we’ll donate $2 to the Lawton Family,” the business continued.

Joey said the blaze was due to a chimney fire starting on the home’s second floor. The Kentucky resident has since created a GoFundMe page to help his brother’s family recover.

As of Thursday afternoon, the page raised $5,152 of its $10,000 goal.

Riley Perrigo, a nanny to the couple’s three children, also helped start a Facebook fundraiser for the fire victims.

“I would do anything to help them,” Perrigo stated. “They are very kind souls and more than giving without even realizing.”

Joey said the GoFundMe donors range from friends to strangers who just wanted to help.

“It brings tears honestly to our eyes because of the support that people are giving without really asking. They are just giving and there is no way to really say ‘thank you.’ There’s no proper way to express how much gratitude there is,” he commented.

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