Okemos family rebuilds after losing home in Knob Hill Apartment fire

“We are in the process of making this house a home again.”
A family who lost everything in the Knob Hill fire has received a fresh start with community support and expert help.
Published: Mar. 15, 2023 at 5:34 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - The Villavicencio family is among the many families who lost everything they own, after their apartment at Knob Hill in Okemos went up in flames last December

Tammy Villavicencio and her family are now in a rental home and while they are thankful for many donations to get a fresh start, they are overwhelmed with sorting.

“We are in the process of making this house a home again and with that, looking at organizing and putting everything in their own spot, all the things that we have gotten and realized the heaviness that comes with that,” Villavicencio said. “So, today we are getting a little help and that is great.”

To aid in their efforts, the Villavicencio family is getting help from a professional organizer, Katelyn Lowry, who said getting started in the kitchen is key.

“Your kitchen is the most used thing in your house. You should be going through your drawers or cabinets,” Lowry said. “I also think you should be looking at your junk drawers those are probably the least cleaned-out things in your house so just go through it and get rid of trash.”

The family’s journey toward rebuilding their lives has not been easy. Villavicencio acknowledges the emotional energy that goes into starting over.

“The good thing is to be able to look at this as a fresh start,” Villavicencio said. “A new start to be able to choose what goes into our home and what stays. But, there is also a lot of emotional energy that goes into that.”

The Villavicencio family is trying to process the emotional energy as they leave an old home behind and start a new one.

“I told to my kids that grief comes in waves, how some days it’s a little more intense and a little more rocky, other days it’s smooth with little bumps,” Villavicencio said. “We are taking that journey one day at a time.“

The Villavicencio family said they really need some plastic bins to organize all of their stuff. If you’d like to help, you can contact the family though Facebook.

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