• Last modified 852 days ago (Feb. 16, 2022)


Neighbors scurry to assist seniors

Staff writer

Dave and Effie Smith’s farmyard was in the direct line of fire from a blaze Friday morning on 240th Rd. one-half mile north of their farm on Pawnee Rd.

A neighbor, Jessica Fine, first spotted the fire.

“I was getting ready for work and looked out the window and saw an orange glow,” she said.

She got her husband up. They called 911 and the Smiths. She stepped outside and got a picture of flames spreading toward the Smiths’ home. It was a ball of fire.

They rushed to the Smiths to help them get out, but Todd and Kristi Krispense and their daughter already were there.

Dave was in hospice care and on oxygen, so getting him ready to leave was an effort.

“Dave was confused and didn’t know what was going on,” Effie said.

While the Krispenses helped him out to the car, she grabbed her purse, Dave’s medications, and a few other things.

In the meantime, the Krispenses’ sons came with tractors and implements to work around a big bunch of bales to the west of the homestead.

The Smiths went to Eastshore to the home of a friend, Dorothy Neufeld.

“She’s our back-up friend for whenever we have a problem, like loss of electricity,” Effie said.

The fire burned up to a service road just north of the Smiths’ property line and then spread west and around the bales, coming within three feet. It burned out when it reached a bare field.

Marion and Lincolnville firefighters had the area secured in an hour.

The Smiths returned to their home at 10 a.m.

“We were concerned about smoke, but we really didn’t have any,” Effie said.

“They are wonderful people,” Jessica said. “I’m so glad it turned out like it did.”

The Smiths are thankful for caring neighbors who came to their rescue.

“We have wonderful neighbors,” Effie said.

Last modified Feb. 16, 2022