On Feb. 9, Alisia Gamma and her family lost their rural Columbia Falls home of 20 years to a house fire.
"It’s just a realization of total loss, to realize all you have is the clothes on your back and the vehicle," Gamma said. "Thank god we all came out with our lives but we did lose a number of pets. That was horrific because there was nothing we could do to rescue them."
Those pets included a family dog and two pet iguanas. Despite the loss Gamma says she’s lucky that her children, husband and father all made it out of the home safely.
Although it’s painful, she said the loss is something she can cope with, but the hardest thing is being forced to relive it constantly. “You walk in and you realize everything that you need, whether it be Tylenol or toilet paper and things that you had that had sentimental value. I think about every other aisle, I was breaking down and crying.”
In addition, Gamma says she's battling her insurance company for a claim on her belongings. To make ends meet, she's relying on her community to lower the expenses of housing and clothing. She's grateful for the response to a Go Fund Me fundraiser she set up online. For anyone who wants to help Alisa and her family you can find it here.
According to the NFPA, nearly 400,000 homes are destroyed each year due to structure fires.