Family, ousted by fire, looking for assistance

Posted: Friday, September 21, 2001

A local family is seeking help to rebuild their lives after fire claimed their home.

On Sept. 11, a fire damaged the second-floor unit at the Coho Apartments where Sam Johnson lived with his sons, Malachi, 14, and Isaiah, 11. It started in the boys' bedroom when one of the boys forgot to blow out a candle, Johnson said.

"It's going to take a long time to replace what we had," Johnson said. "We didn't have a lot of stuff, but what we did have meant a lot to us."

Though many in the community already have helped and the Johnsons have shelter through St. Vincent de Paul's temporary housing unit, finding a permanent home may be harder for the family, Johnson said.

He said management at Coho Apartments may not let him move into another vacant apartment at the complex and said he may have to pay the deductible on the insurance policy the complex holds.

Donald Madsen, owner of the complex, declined to comment.

Johnson said he is worried because his job with the Mount Roberts Tramway ends Sept. 25 and the family can stay at St. Vincent's only for three months.

"We still really need some assistance, and it's tough for me to ask someone for help," he said. "You know I'm the dad and I'm supposed to come up with the answers for my kids. But like I told my son, I'm at a loss for what to do here."

Anyone wishing to assist the Johnson family can call 789-5685 and ask for unit 14.


Melanie Plenda can be reached at

Trending this week:


© 2018. All Rights Reserved.  | Contact Us