Granby family suffers fire, feels the love of the community
GRANBY, Mo. – Earlier this week, just a few days before Christmas, a Granby family lost all their possessions and their home to a devastating fire. Now that family is reflecting on their loss, leaning on each other and thanking the community for the help they’ve had so far.
For the past 17 years, Dan Black has called this house home. He and his wife Virginia, or Jenny as he calls her, just celebrated their 13th anniversary together. They both say there’s no other place they’d rather be.
“It’s just a beautiful, good place to live and I met Jenny and she fell in love with me and the place, or maybe it was the place and me, I don’t know,” Dan said with a chuckle.
Their love and faith is still very much in tact, even if their house isn’t.
“God was there. He watched over us. Jared White was our guardian angel,” said Virginia.
On December 22nd, Jared White, a nearby neighbor and volunteer fireman, alerted the Blacks to the smoke coming from their home. He helped Dan and Virginia safely evacuate along with two small children and three other family members living in the basement.
“We are still examining everything within what we call our area of origin at this point, so we haven’t quite determined the cause of the fire yet,” said Chief Fire Investigator Jim Stanley with Forensic Fire Investigations.
No matter the cause, officials are calling this place a total loss. The Black family is glad they made it out okay, but they are still mourning the loss of some of their pets.
“We had six kitty cats. Tina had two, and we lost all of them and that was so sad to think about them,” Virginia said tearfully.
Even though this family has lost a lot, they have each other and the support of the community. People donated dozens of items to make their Christmas possible.
“They brought so many toys for the kids for Christmas. They brought so many clothes for them, they brought clothes for us, they brought food yesterday for our Christmas dinner and also money so we’re saving that up,” said Virginia.
“We can’t say enough for how our combined communities have been helping us and many are people that we know who are friends and many aren’t,” said Dan.
The family is staying at the Booneslick Lodge in Neosho in rooms 97 and 99. They’re looking for an inexpensive rental property till they can have a new place set up on their land.
If you’d like to help, call Virginia at 417-346-7465. Dan says even if you don’t have anything to give, he also appreciates someone stopping by or giving a call to check on them. The Navy veteran lost his ball cap collection, so even a hat would make him happy.
Clothing sizes are 12-14 for a 7-year-old girl; size 6 for a 4-year-old boy; men’s jeans 34WX32L, XL men’s tee-shirts and long-sleeve shirts, size 10 slip-on shoes, socks; size 3X clothing and size 8 shoes and socks.