Family saved as house burns in Hillsboro

A fire destroyed this house on S. Washington in Hillsboro on Tuesday, Sept. 28 causing a mom and her two small children to evacuate suddenly.

By Laura Fowler Paulus

Single mom Sabrina Hessel was suddenly woken up late on the night of Sept. 28 to the sound of someone trying to break her door down. She opened the door to who she believes was a Tabor student telling her that her house was on fire.

“I never did even get his name,” Hessel said.

She quickly ran upstairs and grabbed her one-year-old daughter and handed her to the complete stranger and left him holding her while she ran back and grabbed her 3-year-old son and handed him off to more strangers who had now gathered outside.

“I ran back inside and grabbed my keys to my truck and then ran outside and started grabbing my dogs and animals and putting them in my truck,” said Hessel. “ I think I lost about three cats, but it could have been a lot worse if I had woken up in the smoke or not at all.”

The family lost everything. Thankfully, Hessel was able to take her children and go stay with her parents who live here in town. Her family also bought her and the kids some clothes. Hessel plans to start looking for housing so they can begin getting back on their feet.

“My son understands what happened. I took him over to show him the house so that he could know and he was fine when we pulled up. But then when we walked into the yard he started crying. Both of them have been really clingy which is understandable,” said Hessel.

The cause of the fire is not known yet according to Hessel. When the Free Press reached out to the Hillsboro Fire Department for information, Fire Chief Ben Steketee replied “No comment.”

A friend has set up a go fund me account to help at (last name on page is Brooks not Hessel but it is correct person). While there is no local account set up yet, Hessel banks at Emprise Bank in Hillsboro, and donations can be deposited into her account there if you want to give. She doesn’t have anywhere to store items so is unable to accept anything at this time.

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