Family reflects on loss of childhood home in Audrain Co. fire

10 months 5 days 23 hours ago Sunday, March 17 2019 Mar 17, 2019 Sunday, March 17, 2019 3:26:00 PM CDT March 17, 2019 in News
By: Eric Graves, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

AUDRAIN COUNTY - A family is forced to move on after a fire destroyed their home of 32 years Saturday night.

“It was just so busy, always busy," Leslie McEwen, who grew up in the house, said. "Just the heart of the family.”

Sam and Thelma Mills, McEwen's parents, bought the house off of Highway 151 just north of Centralia in 1988. The couple raised five kids there.

“We would play baseball and hit golf balls across the road. This house was made for having lots of children," McEwen said.

Late on Saturday night, she found out from a neighbor that the house was on fire. Initially, she felt "overall devastation."

“I didn’t know that my parents were out, and I honestly had that feeling that I had lost them," McEwen said.

She raced from Moberly, where she was visiting a friend, and ended up following fire trucks from Sturgeon all the way back to her childhood home.

When McEwen got to the house, a firefighter said her parents had made it out safely.

“Very uplifting to see my parents just sitting in the truck alive and ok," she said. "It’s an indescribable feeling to know that they made it out.”

The family is now left with a lot of questions.

“How are we going to rebuild?" McEwen asked. "Where are we going to go from here?"

But in the midst of everything, the family has received support from those around them.

“We’ve just had a lot of friends and family reach out," McEwen said. "Clothes, dishes food. 'What do you need, what can we get you?' It’s been amazing.”

Now, the family is left to reflect on all that was lost in the fire.

"There are photos and priceless items in the house," McEwen said. "Things of my grandparents and great grandparents. That’s also really devastating, is knowing just the total loss — things that you’ll never get back. Memories can only hold you so long.”

McEwen said the house is historic. Built in 1911, it had a part in the underground railroad. She said a tunnel ran from the basement to a garage on the corner of the property.

Even after the loss of priceless items and the house's history, McEwen said she is still happy to have her family around her.

“It is a lot of memories, but it's just things. It’s a house," she said. "But having the life and family still around you, we can joke and move on because we're all still together, and we can all hold each other together.”

McEwen said her entire family is so grateful to the first responders.

“Just a massive thank you," she said. "They did amazing, they did everything they could."

McEwen said firefighters have not gotten back to her family about the cause of the fire yet.

Related Stories

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA—Lucky's Market in Columbia will remain open, while the two other Missouri stores, and others across the country will... More >>
2 hours ago Tuesday, January 21 2020 Jan 21, 2020 Tuesday, January 21, 2020 8:19:00 PM CST January 21, 2020 in News
MID-MISSOURI - A multi-day storm system is on its way to Missouri and could lead to icy roads and minor... More >>
2 hours ago Tuesday, January 21 2020 Jan 21, 2020 Tuesday, January 21, 2020 7:44:00 PM CST January 21, 2020 in Weather
COLUMBIA - One man and his dog are wrapping up a cross-country adventure that is far from ordinary. Michael Angelo... More >>
5 hours ago Tuesday, January 21 2020 Jan 21, 2020 Tuesday, January 21, 2020 5:05:00 PM CST January 21, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The City of Columbia is preparing on Wednesday morning for possible winter weather. A 22 person work crew... More >>
5 hours ago Tuesday, January 21 2020 Jan 21, 2020 Tuesday, January 21, 2020 5:00:00 PM CST January 21, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - New Fire Chief Andy Woody always knew he wanted to be a firefighter because he grew up around... More >>
5 hours ago Tuesday, January 21 2020 Jan 21, 2020 Tuesday, January 21, 2020 4:42:00 PM CST January 21, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Tuesday marks what Jay Minor is hoping will be the first day of his last legislative session.... More >>
7 hours ago Tuesday, January 21 2020 Jan 21, 2020 Tuesday, January 21, 2020 3:29:00 PM CST January 21, 2020 in Continuous News
BOONVILLE - Kelsey Breshears only worked at Pinnacle Hospital for a year, and now she's on the hunt for a... More >>
7 hours ago Tuesday, January 21 2020 Jan 21, 2020 Tuesday, January 21, 2020 3:11:00 PM CST January 21, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Bobby Bostic wasn't supposed to see freedom after his prison conviction at age 16 - his sentence... More >>
8 hours ago Tuesday, January 21 2020 Jan 21, 2020 Tuesday, January 21, 2020 2:31:00 PM CST January 21, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The man accused of opening fire inside of Walmart on West Broadway on Friday night threatened to kill... More >>
8 hours ago Tuesday, January 21 2020 Jan 21, 2020 Tuesday, January 21, 2020 2:19:00 PM CST January 21, 2020 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A gunman who opened fire outside of a Kansas City nightclub, killing a woman and... More >>
9 hours ago Tuesday, January 21 2020 Jan 21, 2020 Tuesday, January 21, 2020 1:10:00 PM CST January 21, 2020 in News
ROCHEPORT - Twenty vehicles crashed on Monday at the I-70 Missouri River Bridge near Rocheport. The Missouri State Highway... More >>
9 hours ago Tuesday, January 21 2020 Jan 21, 2020 Tuesday, January 21, 2020 12:45:00 PM CST January 21, 2020 in News
(RENTON, Wash.) - The Boeing 737 Max is officially on hold. The assembly line in Renton, Washington, has stopped... More >>
13 hours ago Tuesday, January 21 2020 Jan 21, 2020 Tuesday, January 21, 2020 9:39:00 AM CST January 21, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Former Pinnacle Hospital employees have the opportunity to find a new job at the job fair hosted by... More >>
19 hours ago Tuesday, January 21 2020 Jan 21, 2020 Tuesday, January 21, 2020 3:38:00 AM CST January 21, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Missouri School of Journalism Professor Emeritus Rod Gelatt died Sunday January 19, at his home in Arizona. He... More >>
1 day ago Monday, January 20 2020 Jan 20, 2020 Monday, January 20, 2020 6:14:00 PM CST January 20, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The Kansas City Chiefs' AFC Championship victory brought celebration and excitement to fans in Columbia yesterday. Teller's Gallery... More >>
1 day ago Monday, January 20 2020 Jan 20, 2020 Monday, January 20, 2020 2:59:00 PM CST January 20, 2020 in News
ROCHEPORT — As of 3:45 p.m., the westbound lane of I-70 at the Missouri River bridge is now open, according... More >>
1 day ago Monday, January 20 2020 Jan 20, 2020 Monday, January 20, 2020 2:29:00 PM CST January 20, 2020 in News
PULASKI COUNTY - Deputies with the Pulaski County Sheriff's Department rescued a female driver from her car stuck in a... More >>
1 day ago Monday, January 20 2020 Jan 20, 2020 Monday, January 20, 2020 2:08:00 PM CST January 20, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The snow and bitter cold did not stop the NAACP's Columbia chapter from remembering Martin Luther King, Jr.... More >>
1 day ago Monday, January 20 2020 Jan 20, 2020 Monday, January 20, 2020 12:15:00 PM CST January 20, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 28°
11pm 29°
12am 29°
1am 28°
2am 28°