‘We just need some prayers’: Local restaurant collecting donations for head cook after Liberty triplex fire

Local News

NORTH LIMA, Ohio (WKBN) – Multiple families have lost everything after a triplex fire in Liberty last Friday. One local restaurant is collecting donations to help; their head cook was a resident, and his child was rushed to the hospital in critical condition after the fire.

Five Branches Smokehouse in North Lima is doing what they can for a co-worker who lost everything.

Manager Amber Durfy was nearly in tears talking about the family and says their hearts are with the children.

“We just need some prayers,” she said.

Several families are displaced after a fire completely destroyed a triplex home in Liberty last Friday.

Two dads are now not only homeless, but their children have been fighting for their lives.

Two of the children were trapped in the burning house and were transported in critical condition to Akron Children’s Hospital’s Main Campus in Akron.

One of the dads, Jeff, is the head cook at Five Branches Smokehouse in North Lima. Durfy says he is well-liked in the community.

“Anybody who comes here to Five Branches, everybody knows him. He comes around, he shakes everybody’s hands. He asks them how their food is. You know, he’s just kind of a pillar of this area,” Durfy said.

The restaurant has a small, tight-knit staff. When they heard the tragic news, they ended up not opening on Friday.

“He’s a really good friend of ours. Honestly, anybody who works here, there’s only a few of us and we are all like family. He’s like a brother to us,” Durfy said.

To help Jeff and the other dad, Greg, who’s child was also taken to the hospital in critical condition, they are asking for the community’s help.

Anyone willing and able to donate can bring money and items to the restaurant.

They are accepting the following items:

  • Clothes
    • Women’s small, medium and XL shirts and pants
    • Women’s medium and large underwear
    • Large pajamas
    • Women’s jeans, size 14/16
    • Boys’ shirts and pants, size 7/8 and 10/12
    • Size 10 boxers
    • Men’s 3XL tall shirts
    • Men’s 2XL tall pants
    • Men’s 2XL boxers
  • Shoes
    • Women’s shoes, size 6 through 8
    • Boys’ shoes, size 5 and 6
    • Men’s shoes, size 13
  • Socks
  • Toiletries
  • Baby bottles (seven months)
  • Baby formula
  • Bouncy chairs

Five Branches Smokehouse on Market Street is looking to host other fundraisers to support the families that are struggling. Durfy says to keep up with them on Facebook for updates on when these events will happen.

They are also looking for ideas, so if your organization has an idea or wants to help host an event you can contact the restaurant.

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