Family members start gofundme pages for families who lost homes in fire

Flames leap from the roof of a duplex at 515 and 517 N. Saginaw St. in Owosso early Wednesday.

OWOSSO — A pair of gofundme accounts have been set up to benefit the families who lost their homes in a fire Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.

Jennifer Dion, of Petaluma, California, started an account Wednesday after her sister and brother-in-law, Leslie and Michael Flagg, lost their home of 12 years.

Sean Walser, of Owosso, started an account Wednesday to benefit his sister and brother-in-law, Jessica and Kyle Groesbeck.

“My sister and her husband, Kyle Groesbeck, just married in their dream wedding in October,” Walser posted on the account page. “In December, their blended family of five — Alex (13), Zach (10) and Jacek (8) — moved into a duplex in Owosso. Unfortunately, tragedy struck their family when the house burned down in the early hours of (Wednesday).

“Most importantly, everyone got out without harm. They fled the house when a neighbor pounded on the door to let them know that the exterior of the house was up in flames,” Walser wrote.

According to a city of Owosso press release, the fire started Tuesday night at a duplex at 515 and 517 N. Saginaw St. Firefighters from Owosso, Corunna-Caledonia and Owosso Township extinguished the blaze, leaving the scene about 3 a.m.

Shortly after 5:30 a.m., the fire rekindled and engulfed the structure.

According to Dion’s gofundme page, Leslie’s emotional support cat Gus died in the fire. Two other cats survived.

The account is seeking $5,000 and more than $1,500 had been raised as of Thursday.

Dion said although the couple had insurance, it only will cover some expenses.

According to Walser, the Groesbeck’s had just switched insurance with the move. There was a 10-day lapse in renter’s insurance.

“It’s unlikely that they’ll be able to recover any of their personal belongings. They are currently in the process of replacing everything, starting with shoes, winter coats, glasses for the kids, etc.,” Walser wrote.

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