GRAAFSCHAP TWSP, Mich- Joey Seiler, 17, pops the trunk of his Saab sedan to find his lacrosse gear charred from the heat of the fire that destroyed his family’s home on the 4600 block of Castle Court in Graafschap Township just hours earlier.
“Yeah, these are done for,” he says.
Joey’s gloves, spikes, and sticks are just part of the material loss the Seiler family is dealing with after an early morning fire has left them homeless.
The fire started around 1:00 Monday morning. Fire officials say the fire was sparked by ashes from the home’s fireplace that were thrown out in a garbage can in the garage.
It was a fire the family had no chance of stopping.
“We all got outside and we grabbed fire extinguishers,” Joey says. “And we looked to the outside and…”
He points to what remains of the home the Seilers lived in since 2001.
“We couldn’t do anything with fire extinguishers.”
“It was rough,” he says. “I got out and was just watching it spread. In 10-15 minutes, it got to the whole top of the house.”
Now precious keepsakes, like videos of the Seiler children as babies the family had been watching Sunday night, are gone.
“My wife had just pulled up a lot of videotapes up in the living room to watch them for fun,” homeowner Richard Seiler, a podiatrist in Holland, says. ” And those are right behind the couch, which no longer exists.”
The community is showing their support for the Seilers. Joey says Holland High School has been raising funds for his family. The trending topic #PrayForTheSeilers is being used on Twitter by family friends.
Everyone is keeping the loss in perspective.
“It’s devastating, but it’s just a house,” Richard says. “It can be replaced. We can start over. It’s just gonna be a bump in the road.”
“Certainly, it’s gonna be tough for the holidays. You have all your plans worked out and this was not a part of our plan.”
The family will be staying at friends and neighbors for the time being.