A Bonners Ferry family has been living in motels since they were wakened just before midnight November 19 by the smell of smoke, but no flame ... when firefighters arrived at the manufactured home on Songbird Lane moments after receiving the call, they found that the underside of the home was smoldering and on the verge of flame, but not quite burning.
Barbara Witt, a widow, her daughter Brenda and son-in-law Matthew Hisler and their son, five-year-old Valley View kindergartner Jesse, had moved into the home in April.
In the wake of sounding the alarm, North Bench fire personnel and others responding quickly, and amazingly saved the structure, a rarity in manufactured home fires, but the smoke damage was so severe the family's insurance provider determined the home and contents were a total loss.
And while their insurance is covering their loss, they estimate it will be six to eight months before a new home can be put on the property.
The family, now staying with their pets in a two bedroom cabin at the Log Inn, is looking for a place to rent that offers a bit more room.
If anyone has or knows of a place the family can rent until they can go back to their home, please call (760) 221-6599.
In the meantime, the family is grateful.
"Thank you, North Bench Fire!" Barbara said. "They got there quick and did an amazing job saving the structure. Thank you, too, to all who have helped us since the fire. We appreciate all of you very much."