Missoula family needs help after blaze destroys home


Missoula family needs help after blaze destroys home

MISSOULA, Mont. - A Missoula family lost everything after a blaze tore through their home Wednesday afternoon.

NBC Montana met with one of the homeowners and his sister Thursday afternoon, after the family agreed to let us inside their destroyed home while they sifted through what little was left.

Not only did the Burch family lose all of their belongings in the blaze, but one of their cats was killed too.

Elise Burch says she's heartbroken for her brother, David, and sister-in-law, Jenny, who lost everything in their home

"It's so close to Christmas time too, and having this happen," she says.  "It's supposed to be a good time, a cheery family time of year, and now they're worrying about what they're going to do."

A strong smell of smoke still lingers in the Burch home.  Burnt debris covers the counters and floors.  Only big objects like the refrigerator were recognizable.  

"They're going to have to start all over from scratch and buy absolutely everything including couches, furniture and clothes," says Burch.  

David and Jenny Burch have a 3-month old son and two daughters, ages 12 and 13.  Burch tells NBC Montana her nieces are very aware of the situation.

"Last night she was worried about 'What am I going to wear to school tomorrow?' because all of the clothes they had they were wearing that day," explains Burch.   

She tells us her brother's family is staying with Jenny's parents for now.  

"I know they're kind of blown away by it all right now and it's still a shock," she says.  
As for the trailer, David tells NBC Montana they will salvage what little they can from it before it has to be totaled.

"It's not really the Christmas they were hoping to spend," says Burch.  "Even my sister-in-law needs clothes and shoes and pants because all she had on was a pair of PJ pants, because it was a cleaning day."  

One thing is for sure, the family lost everything but they are very thankful to have each other.

"Luckily most of our family lives here in town, to where we do have that extra help and stuff, so we are lucky to have good family here," says Burch.  

The children are in need of all basic items including clothes for an infant sizes 0-3, size 2 diapers, Gerber Good Start Gentle Baby Formula, Dr. Brown's baby bottles, baby blankets, a bouncer/rocker, pants for youth girls size 3/4 or 26/27 and size small or medium shirts.  

David and Jenny are in need of all basic items including women's pants size 5, small or medium adult women's shirts, X-large men's shirts and 34-36/30 men's pants.

The Burches tell us any infant or youth girl's items in general would be greatly appreciated.  They are also in need of warm winter clothing, gloves, hats, etc.

Community Bank of Missoula (behind Petsmart) has set up an account to accept cash donations – the account is under the name "David and Jenny Burch."   

To contact Elise Burch regarding donations, click here.

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