Three months ago, La Sal residents Rob Wood and his mom, Amber Henson, lost their home to a fire. They had only minor injuries, but their dog, Rosco, was killed, and they lost almost all of their belongings. A friend launched a GoFundMe page to help them cover medical bills and basic necessities, and to restart. As of Feb. 1, the page has raised $11,590 of its $20,000 goal.
The Sun News checked in with Wood and Henson, who are still reeling from the fire but are grateful for the community support they’ve been shown.
“There’s not a lot of government support,” Wood said, noting that emergency response and social services resources in the small, rural town of La Sal are limited. “But people have really stepped up.”
Shortly after the fire, a neighbor offered to let them stay in a house that had been occupied by an elderly relative who had recently passed away. They’ve been working on cleaning out and improving the residence. They also appreciate the monetary donations from friends and strangers: Wood shared a remarkable story in which a woman traveling in the Salt Lake City area identified a stolen trailer in a hotel parking lot. She called authorities and was offered a reward for the information. When she told the business that owned the trailer that she wanted to donate the reward to Wood and Henson, the business owners were so moved that they doubled the donation.
Someone also gave Wood and Henson a new puppy, a younger sibling of their dog who was lost in the fire. Wood named the brindle-coated dog “Copper,” after the dog in his childhood favorite Disney movie, “The Fox and the Hound.”
While the support is bracing, Wood said the reality of having lost everything is still disorienting. He’ll still catch himself looking for things that are gone—minor things, like reaching for a familiar kitchen utensil or article of clothing…then he remembers that item is lost.
“It’s hard to get used to that kind of data wipe,” he said. Still, he’s hopeful about the future.
Within the next year or so, he hopes to start a coffee truck business in La Sal—he already has a logo and has been roasting coffee for about a year. He’s working on getting a vehicle and business license.
The GoFundMe page is still open at www.gofundme.com/f/rob-and-ambers-house-fire-recovery-efforts.