Elko New Market home destroyed by Christmas Eve fire, community rallies support

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An Elko New Market family lost almost everything Christmas Eve night in a fire that destroyed their home.

The Elko New Market Fire Department says the call came in around 7:30 p.m. Saturday night and said by the time crews got there, the fire had taken over most of the home. The fire department says the temperature made knocking down the flames difficult and that they had support from the New Prague Fire Department — adding no firefighter was hurt.

As community members learned about the fire, donations and support rolled in for the family. From offering a place to stay, buying and wrapping Christmas presents for the kids to open Sunday morning, to donating clothes, the generosity has been non-stop.

“It’s great to have a small community to come together and be able to pull together at doing this for us,” Michelle Vanyo, whose home it was that burned, said.

“There are really good people out there that are there for you to help you get through these tough times,” she said.

Vanyo said they were decorating their Christmas tree in the basement when it started — adding they did not have much time to gather much. They were able to grab their two guinea pigs, but believe their Chihuahua ‘Izzy’ ran away as they escaped.

The Vanyo family is currently staying with the lead pastor of Tapestry Vineyard Church, Sheri Luebbert and her family, who have been helping organize the donations at the church. Because the community has been so generous, Luebbert said they’re asking people share gift cards or donate to the GoFundMe that’s been started for the family.