GoFundMe created for family who lost home, all belongings to fire while away on vacation


By Staff Report

A crowdfunding donation page has been created for a local family who lost everything when their home burnt down earlier this month while away on vacation.

Hosted on the popular site GoFundMe, the organizer is looking to help support the family who now only has the items and clothing they took along with them.

As reported earlier by Y-City News, last Friday, May 21 area first responders received reporters of a structure fire just north into Coshocton County along the border with Muskingum County.

When firefighters arrived at around 3 p.m., they found the home fully engulfed in flames, with the fire having already breached the residence’s roof.

Dresden Fire Chief Harold Wolford said his department was the first to arrive with their two engines, a tanker and squad but quickly ran into an inadequate water supply as the home was connected to a well and far from a dedicated water source.

Multiple other departments were already en route, but the nearest fire hydrants were nearly five miles away in the Village of Frazeysburg.

That required tankers to make the almost 10-minute journey from the home along county road 14 in Washington Township to the village to resupply.

As Wolford noted, when crews first arrive on scene, firefights often use a lot of water in an attempt to mitigate and prevent the fire from spreading.

The family was away out-of-state when the fire began, but Wolford said a relative was home house-sitting for them.

She is the one who alerted the dispatch center of the fire and was able to successfully get out of the home before being injured.

The structure has been deemed a total loss.

The Durhams, who lived at the home, lost everything they didn’t take along with them on their trip.

Janelle Bilyeu created the post on GoFundMe as a way to help the family who didn’t have their home to return to.

According to the post, the husband served two tours in the armed forces in Afghanistan in the early 2000s and is a nurse who worked during the pandemic.

Along with his wife, the family has three children ages 16, 9 and 9 months.

The funds will be used for coordinating urgent needs and replenishing much-needed lost items.

As of the time of publication, 16 donors had already pledged $2,145 for the family, with donations spanning from $20 to $500.

To donate, visit ‘Help the Durhams Rebuild after Fire‘ on GoFundMe.

Wolford said the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Crews remained on scene long into Friday night working to quash any hotspots that remained.

Assisting the Dresden Fire Department was Frazeysburg with one tanker, Licking Township with one tanker and Warsaw with three trucks.