A Forest City family is fortunate to be alive after their house caught fire midday Thursday.
The blaze broke out around Noon at the home of Lee and Christal Dutcher in the 400 block of West G Street, and started in the garage via an electrical short in the junction box. Christal was at home, along with their two younger daughters, while Lee was at work, when the fire started.
The rest of the house wasn't as badly damaged, as a steel door managed to contain the majority of the flames, leaving Christal and their kids enough time to escape to safety. However, their two-year old kitten is currently missing. The house also suffered significant smoke and water damage.
While the house is currently unliveable, the Dutchers are beginning to take the next steps to move forward, and says they are very fortunate to be around people who are willing to help.
"It can all get repaired. And small town living is great. Everyone wants to be here to help us out," Lee Dutcher says.
The house also holds sentimental value to the Dutchers, as it was their first home they purchased together six years ago.
"Our two youngest were born here, and Lee runs a small vintage motorcycle repair shop out of the garage," Christal says.
The total cost of the damage is not clear at this time, but the Dutchers will be visiting with their insurance agent on Monday to determine the estimate.