Tragedy strikes senior Donald Stephens’ house over break


After the fire on December 28, Stephens’ house is in the process of being rebuilt.

Paige Erickson, staff writer

For most people, the days after Christmas are spent using new presents and continuing to devour the rest of the Christmas cookies, but for the Stephens family, the days after Christmas were spent picking up the leftover pieces of their home. On December 28, 2010, senior Donald Stephens, along with his mother and father, awoke to the sound of the smoke alarm and found half their home in flames.

After realizing their house was on fire, the family found both dogs and immediately made their way to the neighbors where they called for help. “I was surprised, not scared or anything,” said Stephens.

Living in Golden Valley his whole life, Stephens has never called another house “home.” “I have lived in that house my whole life,” said Stephens.

With an event that could have destroyed the whole house, fortunately only three areas of the house were damaged because the fire department came in time. “The garage, kitchen, and half the living room were on fire,” said Stephens.

Luckily for the Stephens family, not all was lost in the fire, and what was lost will be restored. “I did not lose anything that could not be replaced; [although] all the electronics need to be replaced. Our insurance is taking care of it all,” said Stephens.

The house of the family’s countless memories is not completely lost; only the portions that were damaged need to be rebuilt. “Right now we are in a hotel, but we are planning to move into an apartment while our house is being rebuilt,” said Stephens.

As of right now, the process of rebuilding is in the works, and soon enough Stephens will be back in his childhood home. “[Since] we are taking everything out of the house right now, we are in a hotel, but we will probably be in a apartment by next week,” said Stephens.