October 22, 2021

Lapeer community pitches in

Neighbors gather to help rebuild family’s home a day after fire

Colin Spencer/staff reporter

A man walks across the roof of a Lapeer home Tuesday that was left uninhabitable after a fire on Monday. Rebuilding of the home began Tuesday.

Bang, bang, bang. The distant echo of hammers hitting wood traveled Tuesday afternoon from 350 Hunts Corners Road in Lapeer.

A day — just 15 hours, actually — after a fire left the house uninhabitable, family members and other members of Lapeer’s Amish community — perhaps 40 people — pitched in to start rebuilding the home.

“The support of the community is overwhelming,” said Amanda Wengerd, the wife of owner Enos Wengerd. As the couple talked, men wearing suspenders men walked in and out of the house, ready to hammer away while others cut wood segments with a power saw off to the side of the house.

Those inside had to cross on wooden beams to not fall through the open bottom. The fire was reported in at 1:10 p.m. Monday, according to Cortland County dispatch.

The fire was knocked down approximately at 2 p.m. though crews stayed on the scene until about 6 p.m., said Marathon Assistant Fire Chief Eric Leet. Marathon was the lead agency on the scene, assisted by Cortlandville, Virgil, Willet, Lisle, Whitney Point and Killawog, dispatch said.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, Leet said. No injuries were reported.

Enos Wengerd said he, his wife and seven children lived in the home.

The fire started while he was away from the home, but said his daughter Katie had to run to a neighbor’s house to have the neighbors call 911.

Cleanup continued Tuesday morning and work to rebuild began in the early afternoon, he said.

Work will continue into next week, Enos Wengerd said.