A Nikiski couple who lost their home and its contents in an afternoon blaze over the weekend is slowly trying to rebuild their lives, and a neighbor is hoping for some community support to aid them in this process.
"They lost everything, and we want to help get them back on their feet," said Tamara Shaw, who lives two doors down from Mike and Lori Faust, the owners of the house trailer on Littmitz Avenue that burned down Sunday.
"Their house burned down. Their car was also burned because the keys were in the house, so they couldn't move it in time. They're also still missing one cat," Shaw said.
The American Red Cross put the Fausts up at a local establishment called "The Place" for a few days, and a friend is caring for their two dogs and cat that survived, but the couple is looking for an apartment. Shaw is attempting to collect household items and supplies for when they find a place.
"So far we have a bed, a refrigerator, a love seat and a coffee table," she said, but added the couple still needs so much more.
"They need household goods, such as dishes, pots and pans. They need furniture, and pillows and bedding materials for the bed that was donated. Pet supplies are welcome," she said.
The Fausts only have the clothes on their backs to wear, so more wardrobe items also are requested.
"They need clothes. He needs pants that are a men's 34 waist and 30 to 32 in length, shirts that are size XL and shoes that are size 8. She needs size 6 pants, small and medium tops and size 8 shoes," Shaw said.
Cash and gift cards to local grocery and department stores are welcome, she said.
So far, Shaw said she has received a lot of calls, so she is hoping an equal number of goods will be on the way.
"People have been calling asking 'What can I do?' so hopefully it'll be soon," she said.
As to how well she knew the Fausts, Shaw said they were friendly acquaintances of hers, but not knowing them well wasn't a reason not to help out a neighbor in crisis.
"It's what Alaska is all about, and it's what I would hope someone would do for me, if the situation were reversed," she said.
For more information or to donate items, call Tamara Shaw at 776-3691 or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Joseph Robertia can be reached at email@example.com.
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