house fire

This is what remained after a fire destroyed the house belonging to Arlington graduate Lindsay Moseman and her family on a farm outside of Fontanelle.

Lives change in the blink of an eye or in the ashes of a fire. For Arlington graduate Lindsay Moseman and her family, a trip to South Dakota saved their lives but they lost their home just north of Fontanelle in a fire.

Around midnight on Aug. 10, Moseman’s father-in-law called to tell them their house was on fire and that three fire departments were helping put it out. The next day, they waited as long as they could before telling their four children about losing their house. Their indoor dogs were away from the home at the time and were safe.

“We were dreading telling them and they were starting school that week,” she said. “We rushed home from Keystone, S.D., and my husband met with the fire marshal who thinks lightning may have struck inside before a fire was ignited.”

Moseman said as they were driving home, unsure of what to do and believing they had nowhere to live, neighbors offered an empty rental house. After considering the alternative of having to live in a camper, the family took the offer of the house. She said they are lucky and don’t have to make any quick decisions.  

“By the time we got home, they had cleaned the house,” she said. “We had so many friends and family from the community — from Arlington, Blair, Fontanelle, Hooper — and they had almost furnished the entire house for us.”

Moseman said the fire has been devastating but they are learning the power of community.

“Having the friends and the community we live in everyone has been so generous in helping us,” she said. “The Arlington Community Church, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church and School and others have donated to us. It’s amazing.”

Moseman said Arlington is a tight-knit community.

“I still know almost everyone who lives there,” she said. “I couldn’t be more grateful for everything everyone has done for us.”

Moseman said the generosity offers hope.

“Everything seems so bad around you and this brings a little bit of light to things with the world the way it is,” she said.

The generosity continues.

“We have come home every day to our front porch full of things,” she said. “We think the kids almost have more clothes now than they did before. The fridge is full of food.”

Moseman and her family are grateful.

“All of the people that we've known our whole lives have been around and helped us out,” she said. “In this kind of rural area, people just come together. It has been one of the neatest things I’ve experienced within one of the most horrible things I’ve experienced.”

Moseman said after everything that's happened, she feels like they are doing OK.

“We are getting through, we both went back to work, the kids are back in school,” she said. “Insurance is helping.”

Help has come from known and unknown people.

“Even people we have only known a short while are helping,” she said. “Everyone wants to help in the midst of what seems like the worst years and are still there for each other.”

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