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Herriman community comes together to support family after losing home in fire

Crews attend to a house fire, at 6212 Butterfield Park Way, in Herriman, on Saturday, June 29, 2019. (Photo: Unified Fire Authority)

HERRIMAN, Utah — Members of the Herriman community are coming together to support a family of nine after they lost their home in a fire Saturday afternoon. The fire destroyed the Farnsworth’s house and possessions, leaving the family homeless. But they aren’t without hope.

The house was deemed a “total loss” by the Unified Fire Authority, meaning the building is uninhabitable. Unified Fire spokesman Matthew McFarland said it was a rather unusual situation, consisting of a structural fire, a vehicular fire, and a grass fire. The family of two parents, seven children, two rabbits and a dog made it out safely without sustaining any injuries,¬†although the home and vehicles were lost.

Unified Fire confirmed that the fire was accidental. McFarland said the fire was human-caused. He believes the fire originated from burning refuse.

Neighbors offer support

When the fire began, neighbors ran outside their doors soon after realizing the situation. They tried to do whatever they could to control the damage. After the family made it out of the house safely, neighbors asked themselves what they could do.

Regardless if they know the family personally, friends and strangers have joined together to help the Farnsworth family back on their feet with hundreds of donations. Neighbor and family friend Dante DeLeeuw said they’ve received things such as cash, gift cards, and garbage bags filled with clothes.

“In the midst of tragedy, the whole neighborhood just comes together,” DeLeeuw said. “To see that beauty in humanity has just been mind-blowing.”

Many are also giving online through money-sharing and fundraising sites. DeLeeuw started a GoFundMe fundraiser on Saturday, shortly after the fire was contained.

Overwhelmed with generosity

“I’m a little overwhelmed with physical donations at this point,” DeLeeuw laughed. “We’ve got some good stuff and it’s been so nice. But at this point, GoFundMe, Venmo, [and] gift cards would be super helpful for them.”

Donors have raised more than $13,000 in two days. Supporters shared the fundraiser almost 2,000 times on Facebook and Twitter. DeLeeuw said she has never done anything like this before, but because of the kindness of the Farnsworth family she has made it her personal mission to “make [their situation] even better than it was before.”

* does not assure donors who deposit money to the account will see the funds benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account, you should consult your own advisers.