Friends Help Family Displaced by Fire

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COLUMBIA - Friends of Scott and Lori Olson are coming together to raise money to help the family who lost everything during a home fire November 30.

The trailer that the Olson family lived in was on fire when Willie Jones was riding his bike on Route E in northern Boone County. He ran into the house to help Lori Olson, who uses a wheelchair because she has MS.

The family lost everything and is living separately for the time being. Lori is in a rehabilitation facility while Scott is living with his family in Columbia.

Former state representative and friend of the family, Jeff Harris and three other friends have come together to try and help their fellow friends by raising money to help with their immediate needs.

"We established a website called to help both Lori and Scott with their immediate short term needs which are numerous," Harris said.

The group's goal is to help the family get back on its feet as it transitions out of this very unfortunate tragedy and continue with their lives.

Harris said the group has reached out to people by using social media like Facebook to try and get as much money and other donations as possible.

Laura Paulus, who is also a friend of Scott Olson, said their clothes situation right now is very good.

"We've had so many people call for clothes and people have cleaned our their freezers and given them food from their freezers," Paulus said. "So all of these immediate needs are really met, but I think right now it's more the money so that they can rebuild their home."

Both friends describe Scott and Lori as very kind people and said the family didn't ask the friends to raise money for them. Instead, the friends are doing this out of the goodness of their heart.

Harris also said Scott is so nice that he's the type of a guy who would give a person the shirt off his back if someone needed it.

People can visit the website and give donations at and can also drop off clothes and other items at Data Comm near the Columbia Mall.

The group says it wants to have fundraisers in the future to raise more money but there is nothing set in stone yet.