The Kenai Fire Department headquarters are photographed on Feb. 13, 2018, in Kenai, Alaska. (Peninsula Clarion file)

The Kenai Fire Department headquarters are photographed on Feb. 13, 2018, in Kenai, Alaska. (Peninsula Clarion file)

Fundraising efforts spring up after 2 families are displaced by Monday fire

Kenai Fire Department responded to a structure fire around 1 a.m. on Monday

Fundraising efforts are underway to support two families displaced by an early-Monday fire that wholly destroyed two apartments. GoFundMe campaigns have been started for both families and the Kenai Central High School volleyball team is putting on a car wash fundraiser.

A press release from the Kenai Fire Department says that they responded to a structure fire around 1 a.m. on Monday. Smoke and fire was coming from a duplex apartment building and threatening another building nearby.

Both Central Emergency Services and Nikiski Fire Department responded with Kenai’s department to “assist in controlling the fire,” the release says, and it was declared “under control” close to 2 a.m.

Occupants of both apartments were home and were able to escape, but they experienced “total loss” and were also displaced. The release says that the neighboring building received minor damage and that the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

GoFundMe campaigns have been set up for both families by their immediate family members.

Tina Campbell, the daughter of a couple who lived in one of the apartments, started one fundraiser. She writes that her father is a disabled Vietnam veteran who lost everything in the fire, that donations will help him and his wife get back on their feet. As of Thursday evening, $2,500 has been raised from 27 donations.

The other fundraiser was started by Dustin Moore, for his sister and her two children who lived in the other apartment. He writes that his sister is “a dedicated mother who always puts her children first.”

“She faces the daunting task of rebuilding her life from scratch; a task that will be impossible alone,” he writes.

That fundraiser has surpassed $30,000 with nearly 200 donations. Moore wrote that the funds will secure a “safe and stable” home for family, replace clothing and purchase necessary items. Moore wrote in an update on Thursday that his goals for the fundraiser had been exceeded — “changing the lives of a family” — and encouraged people to support the other displaced family with the same generosity.

The Kenai volleyball team will host a car wash and garage sale at Denali Family Dentistry in Kenai on Sunday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. The effort will support the family described in Moore’s fundraiser. More information can be found at “Kenai Volleyball Booster Club” on Facebook.

Both fundraisers can be found at gofundme.com, and a direct link to both will be included in the web version of this story.

Reach reporter Jake Dye at jacob.dye@peninsulaclarion.com.

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