After the fire, family still faces long road to recovery

Pictured, back left, is Bill Roedl with his fiance, Christy Youngman, and their children Tyson, McKenzie and Madyson. (Corey Saathoff photos)

Bill Roedl, his two children, fiancee, and her daughter remain in temporary housing as repairs continue on their Waterloo home that was severely damaged during a Nov. 21 fire.

“Their best ‘guesstimate’ for us to get back in here is May, but I don’t see it happening by then,” Roedl told the Republic-Times from the still-gutted area inside his home that used to be a dining room.

Much of the home’s interior still needs fixing due to severe fire, smoke and water damage, Roedl said. Being an older residence, wiring and plumbing must also be taken out and replaced to meet current code.

As part of the recovery process, Roedl said he worked with insurance to salvage what he could.

“But there really was nothing to salvage,” he said.

While insurance covers structural repairs required to make the Morrison Avenue home livable again, many destroyed items belonging to Roedl’s fiancee, Christy Youngman, and her young daughter, McKenzie, were not covered.

Photo is from the Nov. 21 fire.

Last year was especially tough for Youngman. In addition to this fire, her mother, Karen Blake, died in a head-on car crash just north of South Market Street on Route 3 in Waterloo last July.

In fact, items belonging to Youngman’s late mother were also lost in the blaze, which is believed to have been caused by a lamp or some other electrical device upstairs.

Roedl said the family is currently living in a duplex located near the Garden Place elder care facility, where Youngman works along with Roedl’s mother, Tina.

“They’ve been awesome,” Youngman said of Garden Place. “They’ve been pulling for us this whole time.”

Youngman and Roedl also wished to express thanks to the community for pitching in during their rough holiday season. Clothing, toys and other items were generously donated, which helped lift the family’s spirits.

But more help is needed to help the family get over the hump.

A benefit to help fund the family’s ongoing recovery process is set for next Saturday, March 23, at Lou & Michelle’s in Waterloo, starting at 6 p.m. There will be DJs providing music, along with food, a silent auction, 50/50 drawings, and more. The cost to attend is $10.

“It’s mostly to help recover her losses,” Roedl said of his fiancee.

For more information on the upcoming benefit, call 618-719-1056.

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Corey Saathoff

Corey is the editor of the Republic-Times. He has worked at the newspaper since 2004, and currently resides in Columbia. He is also the principal singer-songwriter and plays guitar in St. Louis area country-rock band The Trophy Mules.
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