CONTINUING COVERAGE: FLOODS OF 2016

Grimes Family Loses Home, Pets in Fire

GRIMES, Iowa-- A Grimes family lost their home and pets in a fire last Friday.

“About 8:45 Friday night, we had a neighbor call and say there was smoke coming from the house,” said Grimes Fire Deputy Chief Ron Schipper.

A short time later, Sara Vance returned from dinner and movie with her oldest son to find their home all but destroyed. She and her four kids moved to the home on Freedom Drive less than a year ago.

Vance says first concern was for the family’s two pets, a Chihuahua named Rocky and Leah, the cat.

“The first thing I asked was about Rocky and Leah. He told me that they had both passed away in the fire,” said Vance.

After getting that news, Vance says it took a while for everything else to sink in. The family lost their home, most of their belongings and her place of business. She runs an in-home day care.

“Saturday and Sunday, I just felt like it was a bad dream and today being in there, it felt like I couldn't breathe. Just so much to take in,” said Vance as she wiped away tears.

Fire officials say the investigation is pointing to an electric fire that may have sparked in the living room.

“There is smoke damage and heat damage throughout the house and like I said, in the living room, there's a big considerable hole burned through the floor,” said Schipper.

Friends are collecting clothes for Vance and her kids. They also started a GoFundMe account to help the family get back on their feet.