Ada Krug has lived all but four of her 70 years on W. Saucon Street in Hellertown borough, so when her house caught fire and sustained heavy smoke and water damage earlier this month, it came as no surprise that friends and neighbors would rally to her aid.
“I love Hellertown,” she said Monday, as she accepted donations collected on her behalf.
Borough business owner Janice Repnyek led the drive to collect cash, checks, gift cards and even a blender for Krug–a widow and stroke survivor–and she presented them to her at her downtown restaurant, Mike’s Kids Doggie Shop.
“I just felt I had to do this,” she told Krug, whose daughter and son-in-law joined her at the doggie shop for lunch. “It broke my heart.”
Repnyek, who didn’t know Krug before the fire, said she was able to collect about $1,000 in donations and will also be helping her find furniture for the apartment she’ll be staying in while the extensive damage to her home is repaired.
Krug said she expects to be out of the house for five or six months and will be staying near relatives in another part of Hellertown.
Some keepsake items such as photographs may be salvageable from the home, but most of what was inside the house when an extension cord powering an air conditioner malfunctioned, sparking the July 18 blaze, is beyond saving.
Krug’s son-in-law, Jonathan Rieger, of Freemansburg, said it was the building’s plaster-and-lathe construction that reportedly helped prevent the spread of the fire, which broke out in a second floor bedroom.
Coming home from shopping that day, Krug said she heard a “clanging” noise.
“I didn’t know what it was,” said the former Saucon Valley School District crossing guard, known to many because she watched over their children as they crossed at Walnut Street and Constitution Avenue for years.
“I miss that. My crossing,” she said.
Anyone interested in donating furniture to help Krug set up her temporary home should contact Repnyek at Mike’s Kids Doggie Shop, 501 Main St., Hellertown, PA 18055 (phone: 610-838-0505).