A couple whose four children were killed in a house fire this weekend are “staggered” by the outpouring of community support they’ve received, relatives said Tuesday.
Money, furniture and clothes have been piling up at Rob and Jill Schliebe’s north Spokane church since the fire destroyed their two-story home Saturday.
Relatives said strangers have donated thousands of dollars to a trust fund for the family.
Businesses also are collecting money to help the couple, who don’t have health or renter’s insurance. The Spokane Hotel-Motel Association donated $1,500 to the family and challenged other organizations to match it.
“The community has come forward in so many astounding ways,” said Gary Foster, Jill Schliebe’s father. “It’s been tremendous.”
One woman who just bought a new couch and love seat gave both to the Schliebes when she heard about the fire.
“She said someone should go to the furniture store and pick them up,” said Dick Avery, the pastor at Shadle Park Presbyterian Church. “She said she really thinks Christ would want her to do that.”
More than two dozen people offered to adopt nine puppies that survived the fire.
The support has solidified the young couple’s faith in God, said Foster, a pastor in St. Maries, Idaho, where he lives.
“Nobody is asking, ‘Why is God doing this to us?’ or ‘Where was God when this happened?”’ Foster said. “Instead, Jill and Rob are trying to work through it so they can have some sense of the future.”
The Schliebes were injured while trying to save their children from the fire at 1327 N. Adams. Rob Schliebe, 29, broke his back and suffered burns on his face, head and hands. Jill Schliebe, 28, dislocated her hip, broke her knee and suffered cuts over her right eye.
Both are in stable condition at Deaconess Medical Center in the intensive care unit. Investigators have not yet determined what caused the fire.
Relatives at the hospital on Tuesday recalled memories of Derek, 8; Loren, 7; Steven, 4; and Justin, 2. They celebrated the brothers’ understanding of the Christian faith and praised Rob and Jill Schliebe’s dedicated parenting.
“It was so neat to see the values they were instilling in their own children,” Avery said.
, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Color photo
MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: PRAYER SERVICE A public prayer service for the Schliebes will be Sunday at the church, 5508 N. Alberta, at 7 p.m. For more information call 327-5522. A funeral for the boys has not been set.