By SHERI GASSAWAY
On Sept. 18, Robyn Johnson, an administrative assistant at Cement Masons Local 527, came home to the unimaginable – her St. Charles house was fully engulfed in flames.
Fortunately, Johnson was not home when the fire broke out. She said her boyfriend, Nick Pathenos, had left the house for 20 minutes, and when he returned, it was ablaze with the couple’s two dogs inside.
“Nick was able to save one dog, but when he tried to go back in for the other one, the smoke was just too thick,” Johnson said. “Nothing was salvageable from the home. It’s a total loss.”
Fire officials say the fire originated from the stove, but they do not know what caused it. Johnson and Pathenos think one of the dogs may have accidentally turned on a burner.
The couple walked away with only the clothes on their backs, a dog and a car. The next day, Panthenos’ mom, Kimberly Breece-Wroblewski, set up a GoFundMe account for the couple. In just three days, it raised more than $4,000.
“They are completely devastated with this loss (as I'm sure you could imagine) and will have to basically begin their lives over again from scratch,” Breece-Wroblewski said.
Johnson, who has worked at Cement Masons Local 527 for eight years, said she was amazed that the money was raised so quickly. The couple had insurance on the home, but are awaiting coverage details from the company.
Meanwhile, Johnson and her boyfriend are staying with friends. She said what they are in need of most are clothes and shoes, specifically women’s and men’s clothing in size medium, women’s shoes size 8½ to 9 and men’s shoes size 12.
Financial contributions can be made by visiting gofundme.com/2psxtak. You may also drop off monetary and clothing and shoe donations at Cement Masons Local 527, 3341 Hollenberg Dr., Bridgeton, MO 63044.