More than three months after fire, a new homeLinda Barnick has a new three-bedroom home with two and half bathrooms, stainless steel appliances and the step-in shower she’s always wanted.
RURAL MONTPELIER, N.D. — Linda Barnick has a new three-bedroom home with two and half bathrooms, stainless steel appliances and the step-in shower she’s always wanted.
But she’s hesitant to move in.
“I need to get in and get used to it,” she said, gazing upon the bare walls and furniture-less living space.
Barnick lost her home to fire on May 31.
The Marion Fire Department as well as the Jamestown Rural Fire Department and Stutsman County Sheriff’s Department had responded to the call just before 6 p.m. after a neighbor had noticed smoke and called 911. The cause of the fire is still unknown.
The blaze culminated what seemed like something Mother Nature’s wanted for two years — for Barnick to leave.
Barnick sandbagged that riverfront home in 2009 and 2010. The flood of 2009, however, was the second test that year to the woman who directs Building Blocks day care in Jamestown. Barnick buried her husband, Otto, in January.
“I said, ‘I wonder if God isn’t telling me something here,’” Barnick said.
And if God is telling Barnick to move from the homestead where she’s lived for all her 56 years, Barnick isn’t listening. Barnick purchased a modular home from Liechty Homes Inc., in Jamestown. Even though people told her she’s “nuts” Barnick moved the dwelling just a few feet east of its original location on Monday.
The home is nice, she said.
It has a bathroom off the side door —something she’s always wanted for when she brings day care kids to pick apples and see the country. The house also has a master closet so big, her two sons, Chris Housh and Chad Housh, jokingly call it the fourth bedroom.
But Barnick said she doesn’t have much more than a couple of shirts for work and a few pairs of jeans to fill the walk-in. She lost all those possessions along with her home. She lost several priceless items as well, including many of the woodworking pieces Otto had made. Crafty with oak, Otto had made various items including benches, cabinets, shelves and a toy-sized John Deere tractor.
Otto’s favorite woodworking material was one of the selling points of the home Barnick chose.
“It reminded me of Otto right away when I saw the golden oak cupboards,” she said.
The process of purchasing a new home was a difficult one for Barnick, said Leon Klose, sales consultant at Liechty Homes. Klose helped Barnick with her purchase.
“It’s been a trying time for her,” he said.
Barnick said friends and family have been good to her. Since the fire, she’s moved in with her son, Chad. Coworkers at the day care have offered to help her with shopping — something Barnick said she’s not a fan of — and fellow church members set up a silent auction and meal fundraiser for her at the Knights of Columbus on Oct. 5. It starts at 5:30 p.m.
“The sun keeps coming up every morning and I have to keep going,” Barnick said.
One of the biggest helps is the children at her day care. Some of them even cried upon hearing news of the fire. Barnick said she routinely takes the children to her home for field trips.
The little ones just know how she’s feeling, and how to react, Barnick said.
“That hug, they don’t know what it does,” she said.
Sun reporter Katie Ryan-Anderson can be reached at 701-952-8454 or by email at kryan-anderson@ jamestownsun.com