Thursday, 31 January 2019 12:43

Home Burns Down, Community Rises Up

The Thomas Family The Thomas Family Photo provided.

MILTON — After a house fire on Jan. 27 left the Thomas family with hardly anything left, a good Samaritan set up a gofundme with a goal to raise $10,000, it as already reached over $6,000.

On Sunday, Adam Thomas was fixing his snowmobile with his eldest son, unfortunately a gas leak from the vehicle reached the space heaters and set the house ablaze.

“He (son) came in screaming that there was a fire and that everyone needed to get out,” Kristel Thomas said.

Kristel and Adam Thomas live in Rock City Falls with their four sons that are 11, 7, 6 and 3. Right now they are at their grandparents house down the road. Fortunately, no one was hurt.

“We ran out with whatever we had on our backs and my husband was frantically trying to put the fire out with fire extinguishers. Nothing was working,” Kristel Thomas said.

“We lost everything, it burned to the ground, we weren’t able to salvage anything,” she added.

Along with donations to the gofundme page, the community,  friends and family and school have sent shoes, boots and winter jackets. The Red Cross and After the Fire have donated gift cards as well.

“It’s amazing how everybody comes out of the wood works when something like this happens,” Kristel Thomas said.

As it turns out, the children's bus driver, Kelly Otis Hayes, is the good Samaritan that started the fundraiser. Hayes says that she hasn’t been doing the bus runs very long so that’s why parents do not know her yet.

“Well her boys are just absolutely amazing kids, I have fallen in love with those kids, they’re the greatest,” said Hayes. According to Hayes the Saratoga bus drivers emphasize being the first smile in the morning and the last smile in the afternoon.

“I don’t think a lot of people realize the bond that you get with these kids after a while so what I found in the end really is that not only am I making their day, they’re my first smile andmy last smile of the day so it broke my heart when I heard what happened to them,” she said. Hayes says she can’t wait to present the family with the check with all the money that was raised.

To donate visit and search “The Thomas Family.”

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