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Family looks to pick up pieces after Missoula home fire

Chandler Street Fire 2
Chandler Street Fire
Kristina Wanberg
Posted at 4:18 PM, Oct 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-19 18:18:47-04

MISSOULA — A Missoula home went up in flames over the weekend and now a family of six is looking for a new place -- and so much more.

A home on Chandler Street caught fire shortly before 4 p.m. on Saturday and 14-year-old Charity Wanberg, and her five-year-old sister were the only ones in the home.

Charity noticed the fire on the stove and told her sister to get out immediately.

“She was in the back bedroom, she smelled the smoke, came out, saw the flames through the kitchen, she grabbed the fire extinguisher, she tried to put it out and was not successful. It was just too much,” Kristina Wanberg told MTN News.

Charity then ran outside and called 911, then called her mom, Kristina. In a short time, the fire ravaged their home.

“We lost everything, they said that nothing inside was really salvageable,” Kristina said. “Any clothes and things like that are gone.”

Chandler Street Fire 2
A home in the 4700 block of Chandler Street in Missoula was heavily damaged by a fire on Oct. 17, 2020.

Kristina and her kids are staying temporarily in a hotel while they try to figure out their next step. She says the home is insured, but the coverage is minimal.

Despite the sudden loss of their home -- and everything inside -- Kristina still considers herself and her family very fortunate that no one was hurt. She knows it could have been much worse.

“As long as the kids are okay, that’s all that really matters. So, the rest of it, it’s just stuff and as much as it’s…it’s kind of a crummy situation, my kids are okay,” Kristina said.

She says the response from the community has been tremendous.

With five kids -- ranging from 5-to-14, plus herself -- there is still plenty of need for toys, clothes, and financial donations, as well.

Kristina says another need is essentials, like toothpaste, toothbrushes, and other toiletries.