Anderson Home Provides Comfort for Those Displaced by Fire

FiresDisasters and AccidentsJeff Saturday

The real estate market is in recovery mode right now. But one home in Anderson is about a much more personal recovery.

It's a modest home, but the 2-bedroom house is meant to be a source of comfort you can't measure in square feet. It's the Rescue House, the result of a community's collaboration to create a place where anyone in Madison County can temporarily live if they become the victims of a fire.

Karen Saturday and her husband and Colts center Jeff Saturday serve as spokespersons for the People's Burn Foundation. Both were joined by elected leaders and firefighters to help open the home, the first of its kind in Central Indiana.

"When your home is gone, you have nowhere to go. This enables you to go somewhere to have a place where you feel safe and comforted.While you're getting your life together psychologically, you do'nt have to worry about where you're gonna live," said Karen.

In the shadow of one of Anderson's old fire stations, the Rescue House represents a gift to the county. From the floor boards to the shingles, the furniture and appliances all were donated from local businesses.

It went up quickly, but the idea started nine months ago.

On Dec. 31st, where a lot now stands, there was a devastating house fire.

In it, Hailey and Jessica Bouslog lost their lives. It happened just a few blocks away from firefighter Skip Ockomon. It was a tragedy that hit painfully close to home.

"When [we] were in front of their bodies, we said a little prayer and this came about."

And with that prayer, came a promise -- one shared and supported by fire departments and support agencies throughout Madison County.

"It's just something that is a healing process for us, we can do a lot of talking, but all our volunteers, we're all about action," added Ockomon.

And so today it stands, ready to provide a place of shelter and healing. Not only for the next family that needs it, but for those who helped build it.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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