Surveillance footage from Sylvia Wasden’s house, one of the homes completely destroyed, shows a coop that held 12 chickens that quickly became engulfed in flames on May 21. Three of Sylvia’s dogs were rescued by St. George Police, but her chickens weren’t so lucky.
“Nobody knew there was chickens, no one even thought they were there, after the fire was put out, we were home, we kept thinking, we just have to go home and look and see,” says Katherine Szewczyk, Sylvia’s daughter.
Szewczyk says that’s when Kelli, the owner of RSQ Dogs in St. George, a local animal shelter, stepped in and offered to rehabilitate the ones who made it.
“I was just overwhelmed, because that’s such a big responsibility, it means all the difference to just have someone call, and just say ‘Are you guys okay? Do you have everything you need? You know, what can we do?’” says Szewczyk.
And help from the Southern Utah community kept coming.
“Out of the blue, people you haven’t spoken to since like high school, are messaging, ‘Can we bring some gift cards over for your mom and your sister and whoever needs it to get some clothes’, cuz’ you know they don’t have anything,” says Szewczyk.
A GoFundMe raised over $10,000.
“I just feel like it’s such a huge deal…You know, spread this to other people… Just reach out, know your neighbors,” says Szewczyk.