FAMILY LOSES ALL BUT CLOTHING IN HOME FIRE

May 23, 2001 11:00 pm
HOME DESTROYED BY FIRE: Chris LaPrelle sifts through the ruins Wednesday of his family's home at Sundowner Mobile Home Park. (The Observer/KELLY WARD).
HOME DESTROYED BY FIRE: Chris LaPrelle sifts through the ruins Wednesday of his family's home at Sundowner Mobile Home Park. (The Observer/KELLY WARD).

By The Observer

Family and friends are coming together to help the Chris LaPrelle family after a fire early Tuesday gutted their home at Sundowner Mobile Home Park.

The LaPrelles, who have four children, were able to escape the 2 a.m. fire and retreat to Chris LaPrelles mothers home, just two spaces away. The family is staying with family members and friends.

The cause of the fire is still undetermined, but it apparently started outside the mobile home, perhaps near a snowmobile trailer and two snowmobiles, which were destroyed by the fire.

The babys bedroom was right next to where the fire started, said Chris LaPrelles mother, Henrietta. She added that the familys material possessions can all be replaced and everyone is thankful there were no injuries.

Family members were able to salvage their clothes, but little else, she said.

Very early Tuesday, when the family was still dealing with the immediate problems of the fire, the American Red Cross was able to work with Wal-Mart through local coordinator Jared Rogers to get clothing and toiletries together for the family.

Thats what were here for, said Beverly Higley of the Red Crosss Baker City office.

A fund to help the family with its expenses has been set up at Pioneer Bank. Donations can be made to the Chris LaPrelle Family Fund. Friends are also considering a possible fund-raiser, but nothing has been finalized.

According to La Grande Fire Department officials, the fire destroyed the trailer and snowmobiles, severely damaged the home and its contents, damaged the exterior of a neighboring mobile home, destroyed a storage shed and its contents, and damaged the 1996 Ford Aerostar minivan parked next to the snowmobile trailer.

Fire investigators were due in La Grande this week.

The family was beginning to clean up the remains of the fire Wednesday.