FAIRFIELD TWP., Ohio (WKBN) — A family lost almost everything — including beloved pets — in a fire on Friday. Now, they’re dealing with the aftermath.
“I could see the fire trucks from miles away,” said Cherie Ashby.
Cherie rushed to her kids’ house on Woodville Road just outside of Leetonia on Friday afternoon the moment she got a call that the cabin Analise Ashby and Adam Ashby lived in with their partners and pets was engulfed in flames.
Analise’s partner Brin was the only one home when it caught fire, and she escaped with burns on her back.
“As soon as I turned on [State Route] 558, I could see the flames,” Analise said.
The Ashbys said they’re not sure how the fire started.
They fought to get their dogs and cats out, but 10 died from smoke inhalation. However, Cherie’s ex-husband and first responders managed to save two dogs, Callie and Mara.
“She was found in the basement in four feet of water, but she was found alive,” Cherie said.
For now, Analise, Adam and their partners are staying with Cherie, who said the days since have been devastating and terrifying as they try to sort through three years of memories that went up in flames. Almost nothing survived.
“They cry and feel guilt — and all the anguish,” Cherie said.
“I moved here because I was facing homelessness. It was essentially my first house, my own,” Annalise said.
Jane MacMurchy with Animal Charity of Ohio is helping the family with expenses — including taking care of cremation for the pets that perished. Adam, who works at the animal charity, said the family is grateful for her help.
“She’s going to try her best to get imprints and stuff, so hopefully we can have more memories of them,” Adam said.
The Ashbys were renting the home from a family friend, and they aren’t sure what’s next. They’re working on getting assistance from the American Red Cross.
Still, they said the loss is overwhelming.
“Medication, glasses, you know — everything was in there, and it’s gone now,” Cherie said.
“It’s going to be really, really hard to start over,” Adam said.
In the face of tragedy, the Ashbys remain grateful for all the support they’ve received from the community.