WOLFORD It was to be a happy afternoon. Daniel and Kacy Sheets set out Friday with their five-year-old, William, to attend the graduation ceremony of their six-year-old daughter Morgan's kindergarten class. The day darkened, however, when they returned to find their rural Wolford home engulfed in fire.
The house and all possessions were a total loss. Among the things lost were a motorcycle, a camper, a four-wheeler and the family's two pet cats.
Nothing was insured and the Sheets had just established themselves in the area northeast of Wolford following a move from Wyoming about a year ago.
"The way I understand it is they lost basically everything," said Craig Johnson of Merchants Bank in Rugby, where the Daniel and Kacy Sheets Benefit Fund was set up Monday to help the Sheets rebuild their lives. "We'd be thrilled to see that family stay in the community."
"It was completely on the ground when we got there," said a spokesperson for the Wolford Fire Department, one of five departments from the area that responded to the fire. "We got the call at approximately 3:15. And it was all gone except for the basement and one wall."
He said that Kacy and Morgan stood by as the firefighters fought the fire in the wooden basement and sent away the other departments as they came. It was really too late to save anything on that windy Friday.
"It doesn't take long when it was a high wind fueling the fire," he said. "It could have been burning for half an hour, 15, 20 minutes. Nobody knows when it actually happened."
The wind came from the north, which was the only point of solace that day. The old, two story home faced the road to the south so the only place for the fire to spread was the front yard before it sputtered out at the edge of the road.
Those who wish to contribute to the benefit fund can drop off their donations in person at the Merchants Bank at 210 S. Main St. in Rugby, or by mailing their donations to the bank at P.O. Box 199, Rugby, N.D. 58368.