Family shares story | News, Sports, Jobs

Sentinel photo by Samuel Baumgardner
Fire erupts from 47 Logan St. as Lewistown Fire Dept. Asst. Chief Sean Markley exits 49 Logan St.— home of the Himelright-Rice family.

LEWISTOWN – Tuesday morning’s 47 Logan St. fire spread into the neighboring home at 49 Logan Street. This is the story from the perspective of the family that occupied that home and what they experienced that cold, early morning.

Hope Nicole Himelright went to bed around 7:40 pm Monday night with her 5-month-old baby Daislynn Rice while her boyfriend Andrew Rice played Playstation.

Himelright said, “She (baby Rice) woke up around 10 pm; I looked at my phone. Her (baby Rice) and I went downstairs where we must have dozed off on the couch because all I remember is him (Andrew Rice) nudging me to wake up, glass shattering and someone yelling ‘Get out of the house!’ “

Himelright continued to explain that she heard car horns outside, and she immediately thought that someone was involved in a bad vehicle accident. She thought perhaps someone had smashed their car into Himelright’s home.

Rice began to shout, “The house is on fire, the house is on fire.” Himelright peered outside to see where the fire was before going back in to get the baby from Rice.

She immediately exited the home while Rice retrieved the dogs from the back of the residence.

Azilee Coch, Himelright’s 7-year-old daughter was away with her grandmother for the night.

Himelright said that if not for the random citizen that busted their window and alerted them it could have turned out very differently. “If it wasn’t for him… I don’t even want to think about the outcome,” she said.

Two other residents were home that night. Close friends of Himelright and Rice, Christopher DeArment and Linda Snook, were also present. Himelright considers them family though they are unrelated and had a mutually beneficial housing arrangement.

After exiting the premises, Himelright gave the baby to Snook while Himelright moved their family car from the front of the home to a further location for protection. Neighbors provided shelter for the family and baby to warm up as they had no shoes and were dressed in night clothes during a cold night.

Himelright said she could hear the woman trapped inside 47 Logan St. but could not get anywhere near the residence to provide assistance. “I felt so bad but there’s no way,” she said.

Rice said while he was playing Playstation he smelled smoke and went into the kitchen to check the electrical appliances. He thought perhaps it was a tart burner left on too long.

Rice heard the window break and the anonymous citizen’s shouts, so he looked outside and saw the neighboring structure on fire. That’s when he went to wake the girls, get them out and then retreive the dogs.

Rice said, “I wanted to get her (the neighbor) out, but I couldn’t even get close to the house.”

The family had been living at the residence since December, and Himelright started working as a cleaner at Marlett last week.

Himelright’s mother, Tiffany Elliot, started a GoFundMe page to help support the family as they have lost all possessions.

Christie Searer is accepting donations from the community to help support the family. Those donations can be dropped off at The Corner Vault on Main Street in Reedsville.

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