Community helps family after deadly fire

A dumpster delivery might not seem like a big deal, but to Lois Peters, it means she and other volunteers are one step closer to making the house at the corner of 12th Street in Saint Cloud a home for the Vega family.  

"I  just got the goose bumps and chills just thinking about it, got choked up. It's exciting, because now we can start working," said Peters.  

Back in October the Vega Family's mobile home caught fire, with all four family members inside. Two teenage girls made it out okay, and their mother barely escaped.  Sadly, 11-year-old James didn't make it out.  

"I can't get those screams out of my head until this day,"said Peters. 

Peters lives near by but had never met the family until that tragic day.  

"It was like, I can't imagine.  You lose your home, that's bad enough, but when your little boy is in there, and you lost your son too? I just had to do something," said Peters.  

The community stood by helpless that day.  Every day since, they have been working together to help the Vegas recover.

"They had a fundraiser up at the school, Lakeview [Elementary] School a few weeks ago, a bake sale, a spaghetti dinner. They had trunk or treat down here a the Baptist church. I collected $50 just sitting there with a bucket, with a picture of the family on it and some family," said Peters.  

Among those leading the renovation charge are two St. Cloud police officers who responded to the deadly fire, and the strangers who have all now become like family to the Vegas.  The group is now now doing all they can to help the Vegas get their lives back together.  

They are hoping to get them into a new home by March.  If you're able to help, volunteers are looking for labor support, appliances, cabinets, dry wall, lighting, doors, and cash donations for supplies.  

An account has been set up at SunTrust Bank, the James Vega Memorial Trust.  If you want to donate goods and  or volunteer your services call 219-928.6013.