Schellin family home damaged by fire. Photo from GoFundMe page, July 29, 2020

By Shereen Siewert

A GoFundMe fundraiser to support a Knowlton man whose home was destroyed by fire hours after he was admitted to the hospital for cancer treatment has so far raised nearly $10,000.

Family members say Katheryn Schellin returned home July 26 from the hospital where her husband, Earl, had just been admitted when she smelled smoke.

An initial call at 10:40 p.m. July 26 summoned firefighters from SAFER, Kronenwetter, Riverside and Mosinee to the home on Chickadee Lane for a report of a home on fire with visible flames. Ultimately, crews from nine fire departments battled the blaze.

No one was injured in the blaze, but the home appears to be a total loss.

The couple’s daughter, Jordan, posted this insight on Facebook, which has also been shared to the GoFundMe campaign page.

“While resiliency has certainly become a quality our family has well established over the past several years, last night we suffered a tragic loss that has shook us all. Sunday evening, my Dad was admitted to the hospital following complications with his ongoing cancer journey. Shortly after my Mom returned home for the night, she smelled smoke outside the window. What started out small quickly led to our childhood home, Grandma & Grandpa’s house, and the setting for more positive memories than I can even begin to mention suffering a fire resulting in what appears to be a total loss. We are so grateful that no one was injured. While we know those walls and all that inside are simply material things, and the memories made within cannot be taken from us, a piece of all of us is lost. Especially in this scary time of COVID-19, both of my parents are high risk due to their health concerns, this home was their safe space, and it’s no longer there. While we know that we need to rely on that well established resiliency once again as well as faith for the future – the next several months will include many hurdles. Today we’re heartbroken over the loss of the home that has provided so much to us all.”

As of July 29, at least 111 donors have contributed more than $9,700 to help the couple rebuild their lives.

To learn more, visit the GoFundMe page here.

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