Thank you to Kandy Stitt, who left us her heartfelt story and to Andrew Dresher, Director of Emergency Services for 1-800-BOARDUP of Harrisburg, PA, for going above and beyond.
From Kandy Stitt: “On October 17th my worst nightmare came true. I got a phone call my grandmothers house was on fire. My grandmother, mother, and brother were all being taken to the hospital with severe smoke inhalation. My brother had 3rd degree burns. I was so distraught. I had to do the most horrifying thing: Identify my grandmothers body. The hospital had no clue who she was. She was on life support. Her carbon monoxide level was a 40!!! I sat beside her bed all night. Not having any clue about the condition of the house, what caused the fire, not knowing what was happening with my mom and brother (they were taken to separate hospitals), not knowing what I needed to do with the house.
The next morning after meetings with the doctor I left to check on my other family members. I finally had a chance to go assess the damage. GONE! Everything was gone! This was a house where I grew up, my gram and paps first and only house they ever lived in. 62 years of memories gone! I’m sure you all can imagine my devastation. The fire chief had come by and was talking to me about the chain of events the evening prior. I needed answers. Through all this mess I had also learned my grandmothers home owners insurance had lapsed! NOTHING! There was NOTHING! Colonial park fire department was concerned about getting the house boarded up. The chief was going to do it out of his own pocket as a good will gesture! Then he called 1-800-BOARDUP!
Andy was our savior. I waited until he got there! He has been such a savior through this tragedy. He told me they were doing this free of charge for my family. In the midst of answering his questions I got a call from the hospital that my grandma had taken a turn for the worse and I had to get to the hospital ASAP. Andy took complete control! You see there was bear! Bear was a family dog who was lost in the fire! Andy had his men not only board up the house, but also buried the dog for my family. I was in sitting at the hospital making the decisions to take my grandma off life support when I received a text from Andy stating my grandmothers neighbor was on the phone with the local news company trying to get her last name. The neighbor was even going as far as to getting into the mailbox to get names! Great! Just what I needed! He handled it all! I gave him permission to put the mail in the boarded up house. Later on that evening my grandmother had passed away due to severe smoke inhalation!
Andy has touched base on several occasions offering his condolences sometimes just a friendly text stating he was glad to see she was laid to rest with my pap. A perfect stranger had done all this! Wait that’s not all!! Andy went back to the house and gathered bricks and large stones to make a grave sight for our family dog! He sent me a picture! We met for coffee only for him to ask how I was doing with everything. Andy you are an amazing man! I don’t know how I would have gotten through some of this without you! Through this tragic event I have found that there are still great people out there and have put my faith in humanity once again!