Stars align for Glenwood Springs fire victims
Glenwood Springs Correspondent
Vail, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” Jo Ann Watson’s 5-year-old son, Zach, and their dog, Buster, may soon have a new home after fire forced them out of their old one.
“When you’re looking at the trailer from the road it looks like nothing happened, but then you go around to the back side and the whole right side is missing,” Watson said. “The insurance company just totaled it.”
Watson and her son are staying with her mother-in-law in Rifle. They’ve been making the longer drive to school and to her job as a triage nurse at Glenwood Medical Associates since her mobile home was badly damaged in a fire near the Charcoalburger in West Glenwood Springs in late July. All the while she’s had to battle the insurance company and continue paying rent for the spot that burned.
Watson said she didn’t have any luck finding a home anywhere in her price range. Her sister-in-law contacted Habitat for Humanity looking for help.
It just so happened that area resident Marice Doll’s family had just given a mobile home to the organization.
Habitat for Humanity Roaring Fork Valley Executive Director Kristen Wilmes said, “We are called regularly about scrapping homes that are no longer desired by the owners for various reasons. … But this time the stars have aligned and I am very excited about our ability to help a single mom in need in a very short period of time.”
No formal agreement for the exchange has been made yet, and Watson is still looking for someone who can move the mobile home. But the people involved all want to make the transaction. Habitat for Humanity would give her the trailer for about $5,000 ” far cheaper than it would otherwise cost. Watson will still have to pay the moving cost and the cost of moving her burned mobile home.
Marice Doll said, “It’s kind of a miracle really. The day I call is the day they say, ‘Oh, we have a need.'”
She said her family bought the mobile home originally for her daughter, who doesn’t need it after she ended up getting married. They tried to sell but ended up giving it to Habitat for Humanity.
“It’s hard to sell a trailer when there’s all this new housing in town,” Doll said. “It’s just impossible.”
Doll said the home is a 1981 Marlette that has been redone. It’s sitting in the River Meadows Mobile Home Park in Glenwood Springs.
Watson appreciates the possibility of a new home and all the support she’s gotten from the community. She said All Dogs and Cats Veterinary Hospital checked out Buster after the fire and kept him overnight for observation and took care of their deceased dog Sadie’s remains free of charge.
Watson said Holy Cross Preschool, where Watson’s son attends school, is holding a benefit spaghetti dinner Friday from 5:30-8:30 p.m. to help out after the fire. Anyone is welcome to attend for $6 per adult, $3 per child or $25 per family.
“I appreciate everyone’s wonderful thoughts and help,” Watson said. “And for helping me get back into my home.”