Rustic Marine House Fire

Hello all, my name is Kasey Kasprzak- Tanners Trove. My dear friends at Rustic Marine lost everything in a house fire early this morning. Here’s what we know. The house fire took place around 3 AM this morning March 13th, they have 7 children and 4 of them are now in the ICU. Rustic Marine is a crew of the most amazing selfless people you will ever meet. They are a family who is constantly giving back to this community and expect nothing in return. I have been told they don’t know where to even start so I feel this is a good place to begin. They have now lost everything and will be starting all over to rebuild. Let’s rally together and lift this family up. If you can’t donate please share and say a prayer for healing, wisdom and strength.

Update from Lindsay Rowe (mom)
“Hello, friends. It seems like word has traveled fast. Last night was the most devastating night of our lives.

We woke up at 3am to our home completely engulfed in fire. The smoke was SO insane I am not sure how AJ and I managed to even make it out of our bedroom, let alone l find each child, but somehow we did. Barely.

Our home is a total loss. We jumped out of second story windows and don’t even own a pair of shoes anymore. All of my children are admitted to U of M. Some in the ER, some in the ICU. Gunner is on a vent and every passing second is absolutely breaking my heart. Please pray hard for him.

AJ is not out of the woods yet either. He was our absolute hero. I’ll share more later. But please just pray.

I don’t know what to ask for. I don’t know what we need. Everything? I just don’t know where to begin. But for now, I’m asking for prayers. By some miracle, we made it out alive. Now, I just need my babies to make it out of this hospital.

Thank you all for your messages. We love you and are grateful for you. I don’t know what else to say. Just pray for us”

Update 2 (March 15th) - Lindsay Rowe (Mom)
“We had some really great updates yesterday, but then if I’m being honest, a tough night. Yesterday was the first time Gunner has woken up since the fire.

I don’t think I’ve shared how it happened yet. I awoke at 3am to AJ stumbling around our bedroom. I sat up but couldn’t see what was going on. I said ”what is this? What’s happening??” And AJ just yelled to me, “fire!”.

I leaped from my bed and opened our bedroom door. When I did, the thickest black smoke just came barreling in. I can’t even describe it. So thick, pitch black, it immediately burned your eyes and throat, I could NOT breathe, I could not see. It was absolutely overwhelming and so intense, I’ve never even imagined anything like it. You could barely step into it, but I forced myself into the hallway and my only thought was “kids”.

I got to Riley and Willow’s room first. I pulled Riley from her bed and yelled GET IN THE HALLWAY. I patted around Willow’s bed but couldn’t find her. She was gone. I could not see and didn’t have time to waste, so I was forced to keep going. Getting back to the hallway, Maddy appears with Willow in her arms. Thank God. Then Molly stumbles toward us; I grab her. Then I hear Emme’s body hit the ground: I grab her. At this point I had 5 of 6 kids and felt like I was dying. We had to go. I can’t see but AJ must be getting Gunner. I yell to the girls “STAIRS!” and we make our way a few steps towards the staircase where the smoke is like a wall, physically PUSHING us back. There was no way we would make it down the stairs. So I led them to Maddy’s room, busted the window, and with a couple shallow breaths was able to yell “roof!”. The kids were terrified, we couldnt breath, we couldn’t see, but they began climbing out the window to a roof. I wait to go last and make it out the window too. We call 911, and then AJ appears at the window, and starts to climb out.

AJ: I don’t have him.

911 starts shouting at AJ not to go back in. But AJ did not hesitate. As I watched him disappear into the black smoke, part of me knew I likely may have just sent AJ to his death. But how could we just leave our son? After what seemed like an eternity, Gunners bedroom window opens a couple inches and just one of AJ’s lifeless arms flung out. I began screaming at him- AJ! Open the window! Breathe! Where is Gunner?!

I’m not being dramatic when I say AJ was moments away from death. He told me he didn’t think he was going to make it… but with his last bit of strength, he grabbed Gunner and flung his entire body out the window. Gunner was hanging from a second story window grasping for breath, while AJ laid at the window sill trying to do the same. AJ was going to drop him on the cement below. AJ was going to die at the window. We had to do something. I immediately just jumped off the roof, ran to the window and told AJ to drop him. I ran back to the other roof, and told the big kids to start throwing me little kids. I’m catching babies, as we are hearing things exploding, they are screaming, crying... it was intense. AJ jumps from his window, Molly jumps from the roof, we all get out and RUN. Barefoot through the snow, leaving behind everything we’ve ever known, but alive.

Gunner woke up for the first time today, thank the Lord. But he just learned his dogs did not make it out and he keeps crying. He misses Buddy. It’s not fair Buddy had to die. He was a good dog.

He fell asleep in my arms last night. And as he as fast asleep he began whispering “mommy, can’t you hear me? I think I’m dying. The smoke, Mommy. Can you hear me?”

I imagined him, the last one in the house, sitting in his bed, terrified, thinking he was dying. Until he felt his Daddy’s hands. I burst into tears everytime I think of any of it. We were so brave. We were so strong. We keep being told we shouldn’t have made it out; it was a miracle. There were so many little things- that shouldn’t have happened the way they did, but they did. And now getting to my phone, and seeing the response of the community. I am a absolutely speechless. Completely mindblown. I haven’t even see the half of what’s happening yet either.

I am focused on getting these kids out of the hospital. And finding a place to live. But your prayers, love, and generosity has not gone unnoticed. In fact, it’s fed us, clothed us, and brought me to tears many times in the last couple days. I will begin to thank each one of you soon, but for now, this is where we are.

This is crazy. This is really hard. But we can do hard things. Today, I have to go back and walk through the house for the first time. I’m nervous to see it.

Thank you for caring, friends. We love you all. ”

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Organizer and beneficiary

Kasey Kasprzak
Genoa Township, MI
Lindsay Rowe

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