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Reynolds family works to rebuild after fire destroys 127-year-old home

Firefighters arrived to a fire at the Sondrol home in Reynolds early Saturday morning. Photo from Chelsy Sondrol

REYNOLDS, N.D. -- A large fire displaced a family of three early Saturday morning in Reynolds, according to Assistant Fire Chief Kevin Leddige.

Although it burned a five-generation home to the ground, there was no damage to surrounding properties, Leddige said, adding the cause of the fire is still unknown at this time.

It took about five hours to extinguish with help from firefighters in Thompson and Buxton, N.D.

“We barely got out of the house with the clothes on our back,” said Christine Sondrol, who lived in the house with her husband Marvin and daughter Emma. “The smoke was so black, it was like pitch black darkness. There was no going back to get kitties or purses or anything.”

Sondrol said the house had been in her family since 1892, when her great-grandfather built the home.

“Everything from every generation was in that house,” she said. “Antiques, the safe, organs, pictures that can’t ever be replaced of ancestors, just everything. Wedding dresses, jewelry … it’s all gone.”

Now friends and family are banding together to help the family with a GoFundMe page called “Sondrols home fire,” which Christine’s son Asle said his uncle set up. As of Monday evening it had raised $2,130.

“We really have a great community there, and I know just so many people texting and calling me and saying they’re there to help,” he said. People also can donate through First Community Credit Union in the name of Christine Sondrol and her husband, Marvin.

The couple and their daughter, Emma, were preparing Monday to move into a temporary apartment.

“A friend of my son’s gave up his apartment so we could have a place to live, and he’s paying the rent for four months until we decide what we’re going to do,” Sondrol said.  

Eventually, the family would like to rebuild on its six-lot property.

Emily Allen

Allen joined the Grand Forks Herald to cover local government and politics May 2018. Call her at 701-780-1102, email her at eallen@gfherald.com or follow her on Twitter, @Emily_theHerald.

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