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

3 months 2 days 12 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
ELDON - A St. Charles woman has died from injuries sustained after a golf cart crash in Eldon Saturday. ... More >>
2 days ago Sunday, June 16 2019 Jun 16, 2019 Sunday, June 16, 2019 4:42:00 PM CDT June 16, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A bill dubbed the "Jedi Disposal Act" could soon make Missouri the first state to allow... More >>
2 days ago Sunday, June 16 2019 Jun 16, 2019 Sunday, June 16, 2019 2:50:12 PM CDT June 16, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The missing 5-year-old girl found safe in North Carolina this week is now back in her father's custody.... More >>
3 days ago Saturday, June 15 2019 Jun 15, 2019 Saturday, June 15, 2019 8:59:00 PM CDT June 15, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Shelter Insurance will hold its 43rd season of Concerts in the Garden series. According to Shelter Insurance's... More >>
3 days ago Saturday, June 15 2019 Jun 15, 2019 Saturday, June 15, 2019 8:12:00 PM CDT June 15, 2019 in News
MORGAN COUNTY - Five people were injured when a passenger boat exploded on the Lake of the Ozarks Saturday afternoon.... More >>
3 days ago Saturday, June 15 2019 Jun 15, 2019 Saturday, June 15, 2019 6:56:00 PM CDT June 15, 2019 in News
COOPER COUNTY - One man is dead and another injured after a two vehicle collision in Cooper County Friday afternoon.... More >>
3 days ago Saturday, June 15 2019 Jun 15, 2019 Saturday, June 15, 2019 4:20:47 PM CDT June 15, 2019 in News
BOONE COUNTY - Workers and volunteers began cleaning up Cooper’s Landing Saturday after recent flooding forced them to close down... More >>
3 days ago Saturday, June 15 2019 Jun 15, 2019 Saturday, June 15, 2019 3:04:00 PM CDT June 15, 2019 in News
HATTON - One man is in custody after leading Callaway County Sheriff's deputies on a chase near Hatton Friday evening.... More >>
3 days ago Saturday, June 15 2019 Jun 15, 2019 Saturday, June 15, 2019 3:04:00 PM CDT June 15, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Two more women were arrested in connection to the case of a missing Boone County child who was... More >>
4 days ago Saturday, June 15 2019 Jun 15, 2019 Saturday, June 15, 2019 10:12:00 AM CDT June 15, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Cooper's Landing is asking people to help them clean up after recent flooding. The restaurant closed nearly... More >>
4 days ago Friday, June 14 2019 Jun 14, 2019 Friday, June 14, 2019 11:10:00 PM CDT June 14, 2019 in Continuous News
MEXICO - Ayanna Shivers made history on April 8 when the Mexico City Council elected her mayor. Shivers is... More >>
4 days ago Friday, June 14 2019 Jun 14, 2019 Friday, June 14, 2019 10:58:00 PM CDT June 14, 2019 in News
RUSSELLVILLE - The volunteer fire department in Russellville is celebrating after receiving new tires for one of its trucks. ... More >>
4 days ago Friday, June 14 2019 Jun 14, 2019 Friday, June 14, 2019 9:42:00 PM CDT June 14, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - A Chariton County man charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of his fiance has pleaded not guilty.... More >>
4 days ago Friday, June 14 2019 Jun 14, 2019 Friday, June 14, 2019 9:04:00 PM CDT June 14, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - People living along West Broadway in Columbia are joining forces to protect three 100 year old houses. ... More >>
4 days ago Friday, June 14 2019 Jun 14, 2019 Friday, June 14, 2019 7:08:00 PM CDT June 14, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – Employees at Veterans United Home Loans donated $100,000 Friday to the American Red Cross for tornado and... More >>
4 days ago Friday, June 14 2019 Jun 14, 2019 Friday, June 14, 2019 6:44:00 PM CDT June 14, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Skateboard enthusiasts say there's no reason for newbies to be afraid of taking part in Saturday's Shred Fest.... More >>
4 days ago Friday, June 14 2019 Jun 14, 2019 Friday, June 14, 2019 6:21:00 PM CDT June 14, 2019 in News
CALIFORNIA - A Fortuna man who previously pleaded guilty to killing a baby and burning the body asked to withdraw... More >>
4 days ago Friday, June 14 2019 Jun 14, 2019 Friday, June 14, 2019 4:12:00 PM CDT June 14, 2019 in Top Stories
JEFFERSON CITY - Preservationists in the capital city are implementing a plan to avoid demolition of historic buildings hit by... More >>
4 days ago Friday, June 14 2019 Jun 14, 2019 Friday, June 14, 2019 2:38:00 PM CDT June 14, 2019 in Top Stories
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 71°
12pm 71°
1pm 72°
2pm 72°
3pm 72°