Fire destroys elderly couple’s motor home; fundraising efforts underway
By Robert Green
INDIANOLA—An elderly Indianola couple whose motorhome burned to the ground in a wall of flames last Wednesday, Dec. 18, is raising money to buy a new motorhome and return their lives to normal.
Neighbors and local firefighters have set up a Facebook page to raise $15,000 so that Keith and Hazel Warenski can purchase a replacement motorhome, said JoAnne Riley, volunteer firefighter.
Keith, 84, accidentally ignited his motorhome in the Blackhawk Subdivision while he was defrosting his pipes with a blowtorch about 4 p.m., Riley said. The undercarriage caught fire and Keith didn’t have a fire extinguisher on hand. He went inside and rescued his wife Hazel, who has dementia, and they called the neighbors.
Indianola’s firefighters responded the scene and found the structured fully engulfed in flames. The fire department used the water from three brush trucks to save the outlying sheds and prevent the nearby propane tanks from going up, Riley said. “The propane tanks were whistling when we arrived,” she said.
The Warenski’s motorhome and all of their possessions were destroyed in the fire. The couple is staying with relatives in Orem for the time being. Hazel is struggling to cope with her new and changing environment because of her dementia, and the couple would love to return to a stable home, Riley said.
Keith would like to buy another motorhome he found for about $30,000, but his insurance will only cover $15,000, Riley said.
So Keith’s neighbors Travis and Samantha Stanley, along with Riley and others, have set up an account to accept donations and raise money.
To date, the group has raised almost $5,000, but the Warenskis still need about $10,000 more, Riley said. There is also a list of clothes and other items the Warenskis need to live and furnish their new home.
Keith and Hazel are extremely well-liked around the neighborhood as Keith is always helping out with his heavy equipment, Riley said.
According to previous new reports, this is the second time that Keith and Hazel have lost a home in a fire. About 10 years ago, the Warenski’s cabin in Mt. Pleasant burned down and they purchased a motorhome and moved to Indianola.
To donate to their cause, visit https://www.facebook.com/donate/31681094866