Previously homeless Winona family loses new home in fire - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Previously homeless Winona family loses new home in fire

WINONA, Minn. (KTTC) -- -

Through hard work and dedication, Leah Seelhoff and her family went from homeless to homeowners in August. She says she spent every dime getting their house up to code and had moved in only two weeks before a fire destroyed their recently bought home.

"I wondered for a moment if I could possibly fill up a bucket fast enough, but I knew that wasn't gonna happen," said Seelhoff.

Around 7:30 Saturday night, Seelhoff said she and her family were watching TV when their front porch caught fire. Firefighters worked for 40 minutes to put out the blaze, but the front of the house suffered heavy fire damage.

"The front door had a little window," said Seelhoff. "It was completely orange, completely engulfed in flames."

Seelhoff and her family escaped through the back door, but their cat Cosmo died in the fire. While Seelhoff is happy no one was injured, she was still in disbelief about losing the home she had worked so hard to get.

"We were homeless for three months," said Seelhoff. "My sister let us live at her house for three months while we closed on buying this house. The sold sign was still in the front yard. We spent six weeks...all of us were here spending six weeks redoing everything."

The Winona Fire Department is still investigating the cause of the fire and the value of the damage.

While Seelhoff says she did take out some insurance on the home, she is still worried about the cost to rebuild her home. Her sister has set up a fundraising page for the family--the link to that fundraiser can be found here.

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