One side of Kathleen and Charles Hagy’s west Spokane home looked just like a house should on the afternoon of Christmas Eve: intact with an inch of snow glistening in the sun.
The other half – boarded up with a tarp covering the roof – reflected the horror the family endured after the home caught fire early Monday morning.
William Hagy said his 19-year-old sister awoke to the sound of a smoke detector around 3:15 a.m. and woke up their parents. Everyone escaped unharmed, along with three pets, and are staying with family.
The fire department estimated $20,000 in damage to the house. The flames and smoke destroyed most of their possessions along with the main floor of the home at 3218 W. Rosamond Ave.
Fire crews have not yet determined a cause.
Hagy said he is now trying to piece his elderly parents’ lives back together – and it’s not the first time they’ve had to rebound from tragedy.
The 19-year-old who was home at the time is one of five children the Hagys’ adopted 18 years ago after losing three of their four biological children – two to cancer, one to an overdose.
Hagy said they opened their home willingly, something his mother, a former social worker, is always doing for people and animals.
“She’s just got a huge heart,” he said.
The Hagys’ moved into the home eight years ago. At one point, Hagy said, all five adopted siblings lived in the home.
Their son said he was able to get into the home for a few minutes Monday afternoon to remove whatever was salvageable, but it wasn’t much.
And after medical bills from surviving cancer and hip replacements, Hagy said, they aren’t able to afford new furniture.
“Financially, they’re barely able to keep up with that as is,” Hagy said.
The couple did not have renter’s insurance. Hagy said even a new couch may be out of the question.
He said they didn’t have any Christmas lights or a tree inside the house.
“It horrifies me that they had to go through this,” Hagy said.
Details on how people can help financially are in the works.
As for the holidays, Hagy said they were supposed to go to another family member’s house for Christmas Eve, but are now scrambling for a way to return to normalcy.
“This is definitely a Christmas I will never forget,” he said.
sponsored According to two 2015 surveys, 62 percent of Americans do not have enough savings to handle an unexpected emergency, much less any long-term plans.