A social media fundraising account has been set up for a Hope couple whose rental home was destroyed by fire.
Friends have raised about $2,000 of a $10,000 goal to help replace the belongings of Michael Shea and his fiancé Erika Weiler, whose home at 442 Market St. in Hope was significantly damaged by fire Tuesday.
Weiler and the couple’s sons — Brayden, 3, and Jaxon, 2 — were outside with four other children she was babysitting for when a passerby asked where the smoke was coming from.
Fire investigators believe a frayed cellphone charging cord on a bed caused the fire, which was listed as accidental. One of the family’s cats died in the fire, but two other cats and the family dog survived.
Weiler said all the family’s belongings were destroyed, and she does not believe a $10,000 renter’s insurance policy will be enough to replace what was lost. The family is living with Weiler’s aunt in Hope and looking for another house to rent there as they await word from their insurance company.
Donations of clothes, diapers and household items also are being accepted by the family, which is registered through the American Red Cross and The Salvation Army for assistance.
To help the family through social media, visit gofundme.com/michael-and-erika-shea-emergency.