Donations pour in for Scotia family displaced by fire

Mary Bullwinkel

Beacon Correspondent

After a fire destroyed their home in Scotia, the Gaines family has relocated to a new house and has been blessed with an abundance of donations to refurbish their new home.

Tony and Keren Gaines and daughter Ivy have moved to a house at 673 4th St. in Scotia, after a fire in the early morning hours of Jan. 13 forced them to flee their house with only the clothes on their backs.

The official cause of the fire is under investigation, although no foul play is suspected. A representative from Berkeley-based Fire Cause Analysis was in Scotia last week as part of the investigation and a report should be released in a few weeks, according to Scotia Volunteer Fire department Chief John Broadstock.

The response for donations has been overwhelming, he said, and no further items are needed.

"This has been just unbelievable," "I have never seen anything like this in my entire career," Broadstock said. "We received gift cards for up to $500 from anonymous donors, with notes that said 'we don't need any thanks,' they were just glad to help out the family."

Broadstock said donations came in from Garberville in southern Humboldt to Crescent City in Del Norte County, and everywhere in between. Individuals and businesses alike donated clothes, household items, and especially toys, since 4-year-old Ivy Gaines had just celebrated her birthday before the fire, and all presents were destroyed in the blaze.

The Gaines family is extremely grateful to the generosity of everyone who donated to help them get back on their feet. Their lives are slowly returning to normal, and would not be possible without the community's support.

"It's pretty neat to see this happen," Broadstock said, "out of such a tragic event." And he also stressed the importance of smoke detectors "since something like this could happen to any of us, at any time."

Photo by Mary Bullwinkel/Beacon

Some of the many donations received by the Scotia Volunteer Fire Department to benefit the Gaines family, displaced by a house fire in Scotia on Jan. 14.