North Lima Five Branch Smokehouse restaurant collects donations for Liberty House fire victims

NORTH LIMA, Ohio (WKBN) – Several families lost everything after a triplex fire in Liberty last Friday. A local restaurant is collecting donations to help; their chef was a resident, and her child was rushed to hospital in critical condition after the fire.

Five Branches Smokehouse in northern Lima is doing what it can for a colleague who has lost everything.

Headmistress Amber Durfy was almost in tears as she spoke about the family and said their hearts are with the children.

“We just need a few prayers,” she said.

Several families are displaced after a fire completely destroyed a triplex house in Liberty last Friday.

Two fathers are now not only homeless, but their children are fighting for their lives.

Two of the children were trapped in the burning house and were transported in critical condition to the main campus of Akron Children’s Hospital in Akron.

One of the fathers, Jeff, is the chef at the Five Branches Smokehouse in northern Lima. Durfy says he is highly regarded in the community.

“Anyone who comes here to Five Branches, everyone knows him. He comes back, he shakes everyone’s hand. He asks them how their food is. You know he’s just kind of a mainstay in this area, ”Durfy said.

The restaurant has a small, tight-knit staff. When they heard the tragic news, they ended up not opening on Friday.

“He’s a very good friend of ours. Honestly, everyone who works here, there are just a few of us and we are all like family. He’s like a brother to us, ”said Durfy.

To help Jeff and the other dad, Greg, whose child was also taken to hospital in critical condition, they ask for help from the community.

Anyone willing and able to donate can bring money and items to the restaurant.

They accept the following:

  • Clothes
  • Shoes
  • Socks
  • Toiletries
  • Baby bottles (seven months)
  • Baby formula
  • Inflatable chairs

Five Branches Smokehouse on Market Street is looking to host other fundraisers to support struggling families. Durfy says to follow them on Facebook to find out when these events happen.

They are also looking for ideas, so if your organization has an idea or would like to help organize an event, you can contact the restaurant.

About Walter Bartholomew

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