By Miriam Raftery
January 8, 2018 (El Cajon) – Firefighters from the San Miguel Fire Department have set up a Go Fund Me page to help a family of 20, including many adopted children with disabilities. A fire outside the Hauer family’s home yesterday damaged two vehicles, including a specialized van used to transport youngsters with medical needs.
“I heard this huge explosion," Penny Hauer told NBC 7 news. The she saw “roaring flames shooting high in the sky.”
Hauer and her husband have adopted over 21 people in the past 40 years including disabled children and disabled adults who have trouble finding families and homes. According to the Go Fund Me page, they do so because “they recognized that they could help people,” the Go Fund Me page states.
Fortunately, all 20 people in the home on Willow Road at the time of the fire managed to escape safely, despite the fact that several are in wheelchairs. Three blind dogs were also evacuated safely after Penny Hauer wrapped towels around their collars to lead them out, when she could not locate leashes.
Besides destroying a car and heavily damaging the van, smoke and flames also caused some damage at the family’s home.
"[It's] very fortunate with no working smoke detectors that everybody got out," said San Miguel Fire & Rescue Battalion Chief Andy Lawler, who came back the next day to see how he could assist the family.
Thus far, over $5,000 has been donated toward the goal of $100,000 to replace or restore the damaged items needed by the family that has given so generously to help others.