FAIRFIELD TWP., Ohio (WKBN) — A family lost almost everything, including their beloved pets, in a fire Friday. Now, they are dealing with the consequences.
“I could see the fire trucks from miles away,” Cherie Ashby said.
Cherie rushed to her children’s home on Woodville Road, on the outskirts of Leetonia, on Friday afternoon when she received a call that the cabin Analise Ashby and Adam Ashby were living in with their partners and pets was engulfed in flames
Analise’s partner, Brin, was the only one home when it caught fire, and she escaped with burns on her back.
“As soon as I turned on [State Route] 558, I could see the flames,” Analise said.
The Ashbys said they are not sure how the fire started.
They struggled to get their dogs and cats out, but 10 died from smoke inhalation. However, Cherie’s ex-husband and first responders managed to save two dogs, Callie and Mara.
“They found her in the basement in four feet of water, but they found her alive,” Cherie said.
For now, Analise, Adam, and their partners stay with Cherie, who said the days since have been devastating and terrifying as they try to sort out three years of memories that went up in flames. Almost nothing survived.
“They cry and feel guilt and all the heartbreak,” Cherie said.
“I moved here because I was facing homelessness. It was essentially my first house, my own,” Annalize said.
Jane MacMurchy of Animal Charity of Ohio is helping the family with expenses, including cremation care for their deceased pets. Adam, who works at the animal charity, said the family is grateful for her help.
“He’s going to do everything he can to get prints and stuff, so I hope we can have more memories of them,” Adam said.
The Ashbys were renting the house to a family friend and aren’t sure what’s next. They are working to get assistance from the American Red Cross.
Still, they said the loss is staggering.
“Medication, glasses, you know, everything was there and it’s gone now,” Cherie said.
“It’s going to be very, very difficult to start over,” Adam said.
In the face of tragedy, the Ashbys remain grateful for all the support they have received from the community.
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