CHASE — A Chase family must rely on their faith and friends to overcome a tragic overnight fire, which destroyed their home, possessions and valuable medical equipment.
Tom and Brandi Reazin and their children, Troy, 8, and Kaci, 6, barely escaped an early-morning fire Thursday apparently triggered by a wood-burning stove.
Tom Reazin reported the 1:07 a.m. fire to 911 after fire and medical alarms alerted the family. Kaci received treatment for smoke inhalation at Rice County Hospital in Lyons.
"Fortunately, they had fire alarms and the father woke because of the smoke alarm,” said Brad Reid, Rice County fire chief. “They made it to safety by a minute or two.”
Tom works full-time at Keesling Seed Farms and part-time at the Sterling police department. The family has relocated to a home in Lyons.
“It breaks your heart,” said Mary Kendrick, Sterling police chief. “It is hard to comprehend. But it’s heartwarming when you hear there are so many people willing to help them. Tom has helped the Sterling police department out on numerous occasions. We will certainly do everything we can to help his family.”
Reid said Reazin’s rental property was valued at $130,000, and more than $200,000 of medical equipment was destroyed. Kaci requires constant medical care because of a diagnosis of Lissencephaly, a rare birth abnormality of the brain. The family had just returned from Kansas City, Mo., where they had acquired Kaci’s medical equipment.
“Lots of prayers are needed,” Kendrick said. “They lost everything, including all of Kaci’s medical equipment. They just got home yesterday with Kaci from Children’s Mercy Hospital with new equipment.”
Brandi has written about her daughter’s ability to inspire her family.
“She has taught us so much about what is important in life — how to survive the impossible, to be courageous, and most importantly, to laugh and smile even through the darkest days,” Brandi wrote. “Some people only dream of angels. We are blessed to hold one in our arms. Kaci is truly a blessing in our lives. She has touched the hearts of so many people.”
Reid said 25 firefighters from Lyons, Chase and Alden departments responded to the fire in the 1000 block of Ave. N, one mile south and two miles east of Chase. The weather featured heavy snow accompanied by 30 to 45 mph winds.
Reid said the windows blew out and the roof and walls collapsed into the basement.
“There was no way to save anything because the house was on fire when the firefighters arrived,” Reid said. “We were forced into a defensive mode. The road conditions and weather conditions were miserable to deal with.”
Donations for the family are being accepted at Lyons State Bank, 101 E. Main Street; Sterling City Hall, 114 N. Broadway; and Ebenezer United Methodist Church, 1210 Ave. J, Lyons; and First Baptist Church, 803 S. Dinsmore, Lyons.
Lyons firefighter Rick Miller said the Rice County firefighters are planning a few surprises for the family.
“There are a lot of people supporting the Reazin family,” Miller said. “We’ve heard that Santa Clause is planning something special for the kids. We will supply a fire truck if he needs a ride.”