“This place was part of my rock and now it’s gone.” said Casandra Wagner, who has lived at Oxford House Linfield with her three children for six months.
MCMINNVILLE, Ore. – A fire destroyed a McMinnville salvage home on Tuesday night, displacing seven women and five children.
The McMinnville Fire Department said it started just after 5 p.m. at Oxford House Linfield on the corner of Southeast Villard and Vine Street. One person was inside at the time, but was able to exit safely. The cause is still under investigation.
The house was one of 206 low-key living houses at Oxford House in Oregon. The women who lived there recovered from drug addiction.
“This place was part of my rock and now it’s gone,” said Casandra Wagner, who has lived there with her three children for six months.
Wagner said she was at her mother’s house when she heard about the fire. She saw the damage for the first time on Wednesday afternoon.
“I went through shock waves. Last night I was emotionless and this morning I just wanted to cry and now to see it, it’s just heartbreaking. Everyone who lived here we were all family and like now, what’s going to happen to all of us. “
Oxford House is an international community of sober convalescent homes. Homes are family-centered for men and women struggling to recover.
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Wagner said Oxford House gave him a safe and stable place to live on the streets with his children.
“Without this house, we don’t really know what we’re going to do. She gave us everything,” she said.
The experience was traumatic for those who lived there.
“It’s a time of rebuilding and transition for them,” said Madisen Kuball, an outreach worker for Oxford House in Oregon. “So as they were rebuilding their lives, rebuilding everything from scratch, now they have to start all over after losing everything again.”
The house has been located near Linfield University for 15 years. It is the only Oxford house that houses women and children in Yamhill County. The nearest women’s salvage homes are in Salem and Hillsboro.
Kuball said they were working to find another home and wanted to keep the 12 displaced in McMinnville.
“In terms of finding a new home, we want to keep it in McMinnville because these women have really rebuilt their lives from the ground up. They have established roots here and their children go to school here, they have jobs here. They’re rebuilding their lives in McMinnville, so we want to be able to keep them here so they can continue to rebuild their recovery. “
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The Red Cross helps accommodate women and children in hotels in the McMinnville area. Kuball said the hope is to find another home within the next week or two.
“Not only did the community of this town really surround them, but Oxford homes across the state and country were – there was just a huge wave of support and love,” Kuball said.