Austin & Shirlee Starting Over Fund

Fire Destroyed Austin & Shirlee’s Tiny House

The fire on Sunday Oct 22, whose origin is yet unknown, quickly enveloped their Dutchman trailer. Austin was at the grocery store, Shirlee was on her way back from a family gathering in Texas. No one was injured.

However, all but that which was in their storage unit was lost. Although the Dutchman has limited insurance, most it’s value was in the improvements and contents.

In the meantime, friends and family are providing temporary housing.

Whatever you can do to help Austin and Shirlee start over - is greatly appreciated.

Mark & Lori Fisher (parents)

NOTE FROM Austin & Shirlee Fisher

Hello Family & Friends,

I wish I was able to tell you all in person but Facebook will have to do. It is with sadness that I share with you the news that our beloved home, the trailer with which we put many hours renovating last year, has been completely burned. It happened yesterday afternoon around 2:30PM.

Thankfully I was out grocery shopping and Shirlee Fisher was on a plane heading back to California, so we are both OK. Additionally, no other structures or property was damaged. We have no idea the cause of the fire at this time and most likely will never know as there are no obvious explanations. However, we do know it happened very quickly, and even with a swift response from the Redlands Fire Department, everything is lost. I received a phone call while loading grocery bags into my car from a firefighter letting me know that my home was completely gone, the same home I had left not 40 minutes prior.

We've heard stories of people losing everything in similar situations and feeling a sense of freedom after realizing the clutter and unbridled accumulation of “stuff” had gotten in the way of the important things in life. However, we are not there yet. Shirlee and I had began a journey of downsizing and simplification of our lives once we purchased our beloved 5th Wheel. Through constant purging and evaluation we had retained only the possessions which we valued most in a small concentrated living space. I never thought I’d be in a “Only the Clothes on my Back” situation but no one ever does, right?

As we have shared this news with friends and family, Shirlee and I have received an overwhelming response from those wanting to help. We greatly appreciate this and are trying to evaluate our next steps. I believe a crowdfunding campaign is being put together and should go live shortly, which will be an immense help. As we sift through the ashes today we will let everyone know our needs, though immediately we will need to clear the burn site and break down the trailer frame for disposal.

Through this setback, Shirlee and I will remain thankful. Thankful for each other, thankful that the fire did not spread, and thankful that we have such an amazing group of friends and family.

  • Ginnie Sawyer Morris 
    • $25 
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  • Amy Puryear 
    • $25 
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  • Micah Tuten 
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  • Ron Hall 
    • $500 
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  • Justin Fallon 
    • $200 
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See all


Mark P. Fisher 
Elkton, MD
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