RUPERT – Family members of two Rupert sisters who lost their home in a fire on Nov. 27 are trying to get help for them.
Rupert Fire Chief Roger Davis said the department was called to a mobile home at 201 E. Sixth St. at 8:01 p.m.
“When we got there it was fully involved,” Davis said. “The mobile homes tend to go up fast. It is a very sad thing, they lost everything inside.”
Both women were home and they were able to save their vehicles, one of which was damaged.
The women, Vanae Catmull-Richardson, 70, and Elizabeth “Betty” Schroeder, 71, saved two of their four dogs, but two of their “fur babies” were killed in the fire, Catmull-Richardson’s daughter-in-law Mindy Arend of Rupert said.
“It really adds to their loss,” Davis said.
One of the dogs, Vinnie, became frightened and ran underneath the bed. Another, Riley, was later found hiding underneath a pile of laundry. The women were able to get out of the house with their two dogs, Avery and Taz.
“They could hear the dogs crying but there was nothing they could do to get them,” Arend said.
The women are in need of housing, clothing, shoes, household items, hygiene items and dog food suitable for small dogs.
“The furnace exploded and the house went up like a kindling box,” Arend said. “There was steam lapping up over their backs when they came out the door.”
Arend said the women are still in shock.
“They are feeling really stressed and are shaken up,” she said.
They did not have any insurance coverage, Davis said.
Arend said the women have temporary housing.
Nineteen firefighters responded to the blaze along with three engines. Crews returned to the station at 11 p.m.
Davis said the home is owned by Bud Whiting.