A pet is missing and several more died after a Nikiski couple’s home burned down on Tuesday.
Personnel from Nikiski Fire Department, Kenai Fire Department, Enstar and Homer Electric Association responded to a house fire on Maud Circle in Nikiski Tuesday evening.
More than 25 personnel from the various departments responded at 4:40 p.m. to a reported fire in a two-story home. By the time they arrived, about a third of the home was already consumed, with fire already burning through the roof, according to a news release from the Nikiski Fire Department.
The home, which belonged to Mike and Sylvia Dale, is still partially standing. The responders managed to save a section of the home — including the Christmas tree and all the presents underneath. The department is still investigating the cause of the fire. No one was home at the time of the fire and neither of the Dales was hurt, said Nikiski Fire Department Public Information Officer Bud Sexton.
The Dales breed and raise Shelties at their home on the edge of Salamatof Lake, just down the street from Nikiski Middle-High School. So far, the fire department has found several cats, birds and one dog that were killed in the blaze, according to Kristin Every, the couple’s daughter. Friends reported that one more dog, named Jazzy, is missing near Holt-Lamplight Road.
A GoFundMe page started by Kenai resident Dawn Kitowski and Anchorage resident Mike Armstrong, who wrote that he picked out his Shelties from their business last year, has raised more than $3,900 as of Wednesday morning. The funds will go to replace belongings and provide for the family’s needs. The page also asks for donations of household goods and furniture.
Armstrong said he usually visits the Dales once a year and brings the dogs along to see them. He said he plans to set up an Alaska USA account that the Dales will be able to draw from.
“As far as I know, they need anything and everything, from clothes to bedding,” Armstrong said. “They lost everything.”
Kitowski said the best donations will be gift cards or to the GoFundMe page because the couple does not know what they need yet.
“Gift cards are best, because they need everything,” Kitowski said. “I don’t know what sizes they are for clothes or anything like that. With the gift cards, they can just go shopping once they know what they need and not be burdened with a bunch of stuff.”
Every said the family is grateful for all the community support.
“The family is brought to tears with all the kindness and concern from our friends, community and family,” Every wrote. “We may have lost memories and mementos, but we are all safe and together. Thank everyone from the bottom of our hearts!”
Reach Elizabeth Earl at firstname.lastname@example.org.