LIMA — On Oct. 29, everything changed for Malirider and her mother Jane.
The two women woke up in the morning and it seemed like any other day. The two went to the library to return a tape and pick up some books. They were getting ready to return home, when Malirider asked Jane if she would mind going to Meijer to browse for the holidays. Jane agreed, but when the two were in Meijer, that’s when Malirider got a phone call she never expected.
“They said, ‘Your house is on fire,’ and I instantly started crying,” Jane said. “We drop everything, went home and I couldn’t believe it. I wanted to run in there and get all of my stuff, but they wouldn’t let me.”
Jane said the Lima Fire Department told them the flame had been smoldering for two days by her bed until it finally ignited her bedroom wall. She said the fire was electrical and started in the plug in the wall.
Not only did it ruin Jane’s bedroom, but the flames completely ruined the bedroom belonging to Malirider’s 4-year-old daughter, Claire.
Claire is now sleeping on a toddler bed that is barely fit for a 4 year old. Malirider said much of her wardrobe went up in flames and a majority of her toys.
One beloved thing that was destroyed was little Claire’s toy box. She’s been begging for a new one, but Malirider said it’s hard for her to find one that is cheap enough for her to afford being that she is a single mother.
Jane said her couch was ruined and her computer monitor and printer. Most of the furniture is gone, she said, and she really needs a dresser. All of her clothing is now in temporary storage bins.
Jane, Malirider and Claire moved to a temporary house after their house was ruined. The new house has ceiling tiles that look like they could fall at any moment.
Malirider said Claire wears around a 6 or 7 and she really wants a doll house for Christmas. She also has three other boys, a 10-year-old boy, an 8-year-old boy and a 3-year-old boy who don’t live with her.
The 10-year-old boy and 8-year-old boy wear 8/10 or 10/12 in pants and mediums in shirts. The 3-year-old boy wears a 3T/4T.
“If we wouldn’t have gone to Meijer, we probably would have gotten hurt or worse, killed,” Malirider said. “It’s the kind of thing that makes you feel lucky to be alive.”
The Empty Stocking Fund benefits three cooperating agencies: Bradfield Community Center, Cheryl Allen Southside Community Center and the Salvation Army. Money can be donated by sending it to The Lima News, 3515 Elida Road, Lima OH 45807, or by dropping it off at any Superior Federal Credit Union branch. Donations of new toys and nonperishable food items will be accepted at The Lima News office. For past stories, go to LimaOhio.com/emptystocking. These stories use assumed names to protect the participants’ privacy.