October 17, 2016

Our home and everything that we own was destroyed by a fire. Please share.


It is often said that life can change in the blink of an eye and never in the course of my 32 years has that been more true than the horrific events that unfolded on the evening of October 13th (the very day before our twelfth wedding anniversary).



A little after 8:00 PM that night, an arson fire was set (allegedly) by an eighteen-year old girl who was having a domestic dispute with her mother in the basement of that family's home, which was located kitty corner to our own in the fourplex that we live(d) in.




The blaze quickly began to engulf everything in its path. My husband, Tony, and I were able to rescue our beloved dog, Annie, however, our darling cat Stella - a naturally extremely shy and skittish kitty - hid instantly and could not be found.

I searched in pitch black, chokingly acrid black smoke as thick as oatmeal for her until I could not breath, but she could be found and I had to leave the house or risk losing my own life.




The fire raged on for hours, entirely wiping out all four homes in our fourplex and everything in them.

Tony and I were incredibly fortunate to escape with our lives. We lost everything we owned in this world, save for the clothing on our backs, our phones, a small purse of mine (with my wallet), his wallet, and our car.

Gone forever, a lifetime of items. My vintage wardrobe and collection, hundreds of books, our computers and other electronics, all of my craft supplies, all of the scrapbook albums that I'd made over the years, both of our photography equipment, Tony's fishing and hiking gear, cherished heirlooms, holiday decorations, and every other item contained within the walls of our home.




Included in the mix, all of the merchandise for, and everything else pertaining to, my Etsy vintage shop. Thus, this horrific, senseless crime (the young woman was attested that evening by the police) not only destroyed our home and belongings, in one fell swoop, it obliterated my business and my livelihood.

Both Tony and I shared about fire and its impact on social media quite soon after the fact, so some of you may be aware of this situation already, but for those who are not, I wanted to let you all know here as soon as I could.

This isn't a small bump in the road or even a decent size curve ball, it is the literal definition of a life changing catastrophe.

From the very first social media post, we have had a truly incredible show of support and help from so many friends and family members online.

My sister, Katie, and my good friend Nora (from the blog Nora Finds) quickly teamed up to create a crowd funding relief donation page, which you can donate to here if you wish to do so:




Anything that you can give - prayers, good vibes, and kind messages included - are so incredibly helpful to us - as is sharing about our donation campaign link on social media and/or your blog - and mean more than we can ever put into words.

As well, in one of the most touching things I (we) have ever experienced, another dear friend of mine, Bonita (from the blog Lavender & Twill) set up a Facebook page for those who wish to help us out in a myriad of different ways (including sending care packages).

There are not words enough in the whole world to adequately express the profound gratitude, appreciation and love that I have for everyone who is helping us. I have always known and spoken highly about the fact that the vintage/pinup/rockabilly/similar community was an incredibly close knit, supportive place, but I have been nothing short of floor by the incredible outreach and care extended to us by hundreds in our midst.

Right now we are very fortunate to be temporarily staying with my mom and step-dad while we begin to pick up the pieces of our charred life. Time will tell where we land beyond then.

Our life is in pieces and putting them back together again is going to be a long, long process. But we are alive, Tony and I have each other (and Annie), and we have the astonishing support of so many wonderful people around the planet.

Right now, as we focus on rebuilding our lives, I have to put this blog on hiatus. It pains me deeply to do so, but given the circumstances, I have no other choice.

I plan to return again and resume blogging when possible, but that will likely be for quite a while down the road from now (especially since we are computer-less at present).

I appreciate your understanding on this front and will miss each of you greatly. We will reconnect again. This blog is an integral part of my life and the last thing that I would possibly want is for it to be another victim of this heartbreaking tragedy.

We are fighters and we will persevere. The journey back to normalcy will be long, but we will grow in countless ways in the process, and ultimately, we will be okay.

Your love, support, donations, and immeasurable kindness will ensure that is the case. Of that - much like life's ability to change in the blink of an eye - I am certain.

With every fiber of my being, thank you, everyone. I love you dearly and will return here as soon as I possibly can.

❤ Jessica 






120 comments:

  1. Love and best wishes to you both, Jessica - when I heard the news I felt horrified for you. Here's hoping it doesn't take too long for things to return to a new sort of normal, and you can have your own home again. (I appreciate that after something this devastating, the old normal is gone.)

    We will all still be here for you when you return. Take care of yourself - I hope this doesn't have a really negative effect on your health - and we will welcome you with open arms when you come back.

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  2. Jessica, you are in my thoughts. Both Jay and I are thinking about you. *hugs*

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  3. So devastating, Jessica. This is sad news but I'm soooo grateful you and Tony are safe. My thoughts are with you, always!

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  4. I'm so sorry that this has happened to you! I can't even imagine how awful it must be to have to go through all of this.

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  5. Jessica, you're such a bright light in this world and I value our little blogging friendship so much. Your comments on my posts are always so heartwarming and supportive. I hate that this happened to you and Tony. How heartbreaking - I can't imagine the pain you both feel right now. I will DEFINITELY share the links to help and wish I contribute as well. I don't know what I can do from the states - but know I am here if you ever wish to chat or need anything I can provide/do! <3

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  6. Jessica, my heart goes out to you and Tony and my thoughts are with you in the aftermath of this disaster. Thank goodness you and Toby were able to get out unharmed and that you were able to rescue the lovely Annie. I am so very sorry for the loss of Stella, she was a very sweet kitty indeed. I can not imagine what it must be like to be in the situation that you now find yourselves in. I know that you and Tony are strong, resilient, positive people and you will make your way through this difficult situation intact. It must be overwhelming right now but I know you will build your lives back up again. I will do all that I can do to help out. I'm so sorry that this happened to you, my lovely, kind and generous friend. Much love and big hugs.xx

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  7. jessica! my dear!!!!! english words fail me - i´m shocked!
    but i´m very very glad you and tony could escape that hell and saved annie!!!!
    but i feel very sad for stella!
    ***hugging lisbeth and crying in her fur**
    so good that you can stay at you moms & stepdads house - this is so much more in this situation than just to have a roof over the head.
    i send you all my love and of cause i´ll share this!
    and this is one of the rare moments i hate my own poverty.....
    love you! xxxxxxx

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  8. Oh, honey, I am sitting here bawling my eyes out for you, Tony and your dear Stella! I am so sorry that you're going through this. Hugs and best vibes ever.

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  9. I'm so sorry this terrible tragedy happened to you. Will be sharing this.

    Our wedding anniversary date is also Oct. 14. I hope long before your next anniversary you will find yourselves back on your feet. Sending you virtual hugs!

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  10. I LOVE YOU SWEETIE! We got your back!

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  11. Absolutely heart breaking to hear of your loss. Thinking positive thoughts for you, Tony and Annie. I will DEFINITELY share the links and am happy to help in any other way possible. You have ton so much and touched so many lives in the vintage community and it is so heart warming to see people come together when one of our own is in need.
    -Emily

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  12. I heard about this yesterday through Mim's blog, "Crinoline Robot", and was horrified. All your vintage clothes, jewellery, photos - all the things that make up your home - gone. Thank [deity of choice] the two of you and your dog made it out unharmed. I just hope the cat made it out on her own. I really wanted to help so left a donation. It feels rather an impersonal thing to do, but I figured at least that way you can get what you need right now instead of waiting for the postal service from Norway.

    I've been meaning to do a clear out of my vintage jewellery for a while now. I mostly have fake pearls but other things as well. Let me know if you want any of them, and which address to send them to, and take care.

    Hugs from Norway

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  13. My heart broke for you when I saw this on your Instagram, I can't even begin to imagine what you're going through and all sentimental words I can think of feel kind of empty and useless. I'm so sorry that this should happen to you, I truly wish I could send something more practical than love and well wishes. I'm so glad you're both OK and healthy and have a support system to take care of you and Annie (and I'm sorry to hear about Stella, you did all you possibly could for her). I hope it doesn't take too long for you both to rebuild your lives from this senseless tragedy ❤️

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  14. Oh Jessica!! I'm so so sorry to hear about this incredible tragedy in your life! I am so sorry to hear about your loss of everything in your beautiful vintage collection, all your personal items, and especially the loss of your sweet Stella! :( My heart goes out to you terribly! I will be sharing this and adding to your donations page. I hope that we as a community can help bring some sliver of normalcy back into your life with our help. So so terribly sorry to hear about your loss! Big hugs sweet friend!

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  15. I hope you guys are ok and I hope they find Stella! <3

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  16. Jessica, you are in my thoughts. I am sorry that you have to back out of the online vintage community. I will miss you, but I understand that it is for the best, and that you need to focus on your current needs.

    Sarah

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  17. I am praying with all my heart your cat somehow got out and will be found. That happened in the case of a similar fire down the block from me. Oh I am so so sorry. I follow your blog. I will donate, but I just wanted to express my sincere, sincere condolences. I'm so very sorry.

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  18. wow! I am so sorry for your loss. I dont know you and have never read your blog but I offer my sincerest prayers and hopes. Our daughter lost her home 6 days before her wedding and she still suffers from the effects. She lost not only her possessions and her wedding gifts but her sense of securtiy. I pray that you will recover not only physical things but your joy and faith.

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  19. I already told you how sorry I'm for you on Instagram. This is so awful and I can't even imagine how you must feel now. I send a lot of love, strength and a little donation to you! <3

    Many hugs and best wishes,
    Sandra

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  20. Jessica I have been in a funk since I heard about this. Tears are coming to my eyes trying to type this out. Again, I am so so sorry. Not that I go around wishing people disaster, but you are the least deserving person of such an event. Your kindness, community-mindedness, optimism, leadership, and flair are a combined force to be reckoned with, and I'm sure they'll help you get through this time with Tony and Annie.

    Wherever dear Stella is now, I'm sure her spirit is wrapped around you. I know how much it hurts to be separated from a feline familiar. Our cats love us very much and we can be confident that we've given them the best lives possible.

    I've got a stashed vintage package to send you when you're ready to rebuild that part of your life, and I'm following the Facebook pages your friends and family are managing.

    Sending you all my love and best wishes possible. I only wish there was more I could do to directly help.

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  21. O my goodness, no!! I have no other social media so this is the first I've heard. I'm in shock and shedding many tears for. I know it must be devastating beyond words to have your life turned upside down like that. Things can be replaced but the sentimental value cannot. I WILL do EVERYTHING I can to help you out. All I can say is how thankful I am you and Tony are safe, I'm so very sorry about Stella. Stay strong my love, please stay strong xxxxxxx

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  22. Jessica, I am teary all over again reading this and knowing how much we will all miss you in the blogging community. I know you will be back and better than ever and meanwhile all I can do is show my support and help in the little ways that I can. You are in my thoughts 24/7 right now and I really hope the vintage blogging community will help see you through that bit easier. Hoping the paths to getting your lives back are as smooth as can possibly be xxx

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  23. *sigh* There's nothing to say except we love you and I'm sure you'll bounce back. Feel free to blog updates on your personal life and not feel pressured to post polished content like you often do. We care.

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  24. Dearest Jessica, I am so, so sorry that you are going through this horrific time. I will definitely keep you in my prayers and I am just so glad that you are safe, this is the most important...you! Love and hugs to you.

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  25. Dear Jessica,

    Oh, no...what a nightmare...I am so sorry and greatly sadden to hear about this horrible fire!!! I feel so bad for you and Tony. I hope you will find Stella soon(does she have a microchip?). Maybe she is hiding somewhere.

    I wish I lived closer and could do more to help! I am putting together a care package.

    Lots of hugs,
    Dee

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  26. I bursted into tears when I read this, this is so terrible :( Had to go cry to my boyfriend about how cruel people (the arsonist) can be to destroy lives of multiple people (and animals). Our thoughts and hearts are with you, sweetie <3
    Even if I'm not wealthy (unemployed at the moment), I have a home and wish to help people that don't have anything. I'll add the donation page to my bookmarks and will hopefully revisit once I get my monthly unemployment benefit. At times like these we need to stick together and support each other!

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  27. Oh dear, now I am crying for you again! Literally! I donated immediately, as much as I could without getting complaints from DH, since he doesn't understand cyber friendship. But many small donations makes up a river. I am running around tonight and putting together a (mostly) vintage carepack for you and would just check if I had received an address to send it to, when I saw this post. This is so extremely unfair, so unbelievable stupid done. You don't mention insurance, but I am sure you must have something. I hope you are taken good care of, health wise. I will write you a letter with the carepack. For now I am just sending you lots of love and hugs and prayers ... And whatever you might need. I wish I could do more. Give your lovely husband and dog a hug too. XOXO

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  28. OMG Jessica, I'm so unbelievably sorry. My heart is so broken for you all. I just can't imagine and I'm just so sorry. I will be heading over to your facebook page. Let me know what all and anything I can do to help. You're in my prayers, hun.

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  29. Jessica such awful news! I can not imagine how you must both be feeling and the task of getting yourself back to yourself must be so daunting. Stay strong! Thinking of you xxx

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  30. Oh no, Jessica!! Such a disaster! My heart goes out to you and Tony. Send you all my love and hugs!

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  31. Jessica, I am so sorry that this has happened to you. I can't begin to imagine the pain. I hope that the love, kindness and positivity you have put out into the world now come back to you to help you both through this. With lots of love, Samantha x

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  32. My heart is breaking for you. Please let me know what I can do. Will share on social media and donate. My first thought was to send you vintage. I know amassing a collection is highly personal, but I there is always something a gal can share. I'll send love and prayers your way.

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  33. OMG, dear Jessica! I have just sent you a comment on another post and then opened this one and this! I am really really sorry for that, it really is a catastrophe and life changing! You will recover, but right now it's terrible what happened! I am glad you two and Annie are alive! I am so sorry for Stella! Please give yourself time to recover, you need it. And whatever I can do to help, please tell me! I have entered in contact with the facebook page to help you, and I will share the page on my own page. My dear friend, I am really, really very sad with that and I am sending you good vibes and prayers! Please count on me, really! Sending you much love, Denise

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  34. Just awful!!!! But you are alive! Jessica, if I may ask this...would you mind sharing a mailing address and maybe your clothing size ? I would love to post a bunch of beautiful vintage things your way! X Sascha

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  35. I'll be thinking of you and sending thoughts of good health, strength, peace and endurance to see you through the coming months.

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  36. I had to read this twice Jessica, for the words to sink in. I am so profoundly sad, I can see the impact this has had on you in so many ways. What a senseless thing to happen. I am so glad though, that at least you, Tony and Annie are unscathed and have somewhere to stay right now. I will be thinking of you, and I know the battles you've already fought, some on a daily basis. This makes me believe you will get through this. Lots of love to you all X X

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  37. So sorry for what you,ve been through. Glad you were,nt injured.

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  38. Oh, my dear friend, I'm truly heartbroken and distressed that this has happened, but so glad that you and Tony made it out.

    You guys will be in my thoughts and prayers. Lots of love to you!

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  39. Praying for you and sending lots of love ❤️❤️❤️

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  40. You guys are in my prayers.Horrible tragedy.

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  41. I'm so sorry to hear of your heartbreaking loss, Jessica! I hope your sweet Stella is found, and that you're able to rebuild from the ashes. As a lifelong pyrophobic, that's my absolute worst nightmare. My pyrophobia is pretty under control now (barring a panic attack here and there when a fire alarm goes off), but I used to say I wanted to live outside as an adult, because of the risk of a house catching on fire. When I was eight years old, I insisted so strongly and hysterically on getting a fire extinguisher, my parents bought one for my peace of mind. Twenty years later, they finally used it when an abandoned bird's nest in a light fixture outside caught on fire. They said they never would've had that fire extinguisher if I hadn't made them buy it all those years ago.

    Some years back, I bought fireproof safe boxes for my coin and stamp collection. With my history of pyrophobia, it's hard to believe I managed to put out a gasoline fire (which I myself foolishly caused while burning garbage) all by myself, without passing out from a panic attack or running away. If that fire had spread beyond the grass and caught onto the back veranda, things wouldn't have been pretty. I also caught sight of a tablecloth on fire a few years ago on Simchat Torah, while everyone else was busy dancing, singing, eating, and chatting. It was quite a feat to attract any attention in the middle of such a loud holiday celebration! My rabbi's family's candlelighting table was quite damaged, and got a facelift of a cut glass design and a protective glass cover on top. Traditional Jewish Law says you're not supposed to put out a fire or even call the fire department on the Sabbath or holidays, unless you live in an apartment, duplex, condo community, etc., but that's one law I'll never follow. The consequences are far too devastating.

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  42. I'm so heartbroken to hear your news,I can't imagine losing a pet that way. I'm literally crying! And to lose everything else on top. But I know you will come back even stronger. And I will check out the Facebook page immediately. Hugs for you both ( and Annie).

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  43. I sent a small donation, and will be sharing your donation page on my own blog, and sending you more assistance when I can. You and Tony are continually in my prayers!

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  44. Oh my dear Jessica, I am so heartbroken to hear this! I cannot even comprehend how devastating this is for you and your husband to have lost everything and your beloved kitty. I am so thankful you are both safe I will definitely be sharing and giving what I can, dear friend! You are such a light in the blogging community and I appreciate your comments and friendship so much!

    Much love and support as you figure out how to piece everything back together!

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  45. Oh goodness, how tragic. You and your family are in my prayers.

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  46. Oh no, I just don't know what to write, but felt that I had to say something, as this is so awful. As a fellow cat owner too, I can't imagine how you must be feeling at loosing your fur baby, but, thank God you are ok. Xx

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  47. My heart is breaking for you, dear Jessica! I cannot imagine your heartbreak right now as you deal with so much loss! I will be sending you a package to help, and so much love as you piece your lives back together! I appreciate your comments and our budding young friendship so much, and I pray that you will be supported through everything!

    Much love,
    Kristina

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  48. I lost my whole collection in a storage unit fire many years ago (started by someone's adjacent Avon product storage spontaneous combustion ). While I am sure that was nothing compared to what you have experienced, it was nonetheless shattering. I would like to send you something to help you re-build your own vintage clothing closet. If you want to email me at accessibilitynw@comcast.net with measurements and mailing address I will look through what I have and see what I can come up with. I know it's not much but have enjoyed your enthusiasm and promotion of the love of vintage over the last couple of years. Linda, Nobody's Baby, Eugene, OR.(ps, the cat?)

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  49. So sorry to hear about your troubles. I wish I could help. Hope things will get better soon. I'll keep you in my thoughts. Best wishes for a bright future. You will rise from the ashes. Stay strong!

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  50. Gosh, that is tough. I will look forward to seeing you guys get back on your feet and you to get back doing what you love. Good luck.

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  51. I've kind of been out of the blogging world, but I heard about this and just want to say I am praying for you in this situation :( I'm so glad you're safe, but I can't imagine the breadth of what you lost. All of your collection, business, and your sweet kitty. I sat here crying as I read this because you are the sweetest person in the blogging world, leaving the most sincere comments and being genuinely kind. Life doesn't make sense sometimes, but I hope that some of what was lost can be restored.

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  52. You and Tony (and dearest Stella) haven't left my thoughts since I first saw the news on your Instagram. I am so sorry so much was taken from you by such a vicious and selfish act. Sending you all of my love <3

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  53. As I said on your instagram post, I cannot imagine how devastating this must be for you. So sad and tragic and such an awful reason for the fire too.

    Take care of your own health now too as I'm sure it would be all to easy to push yourself trying to solve problems and get re-established.

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  54. My heart breaks for you, Jessica. You've been such a supporter of mine over the years. So I'm going to be spreading the word out there to the vintage/blogging community. We're going to see you through this. You and your husband take care of yourselves and each other. Once you get settled in... I'm sending you a vintage care package. Until then, lots of love to you both during this terrible time.
    <3 Jackie @ Let's Go Thrifting

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  55. So sorry to hear about your house and the loss of Stella. Thank God you and Tony and Annie are safe. I hope you can find a way to get through this tragedy. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. God Bless you and yours.
    Marilyn

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  56. Oh dear Jessica, I'm so sorry to hear this. How terrible! My thoughts are with you and Tony as you tackle rebuilding your daily life.

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  57. So sorry to hear about this Jessica. :( You will be in my prayers.

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  58. Stay strong beautiful lady, we will be here waiting for you already-looked-forward-to return! ❤ ❤ ❤

    xox,
    bonita

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    1. Thanks Bonita for the very helpful Facebook page to help Jessica and Tony. I can see all the effort you put into it. You are a beautiful friend to them. xxxx

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  59. Praying for you all. So sorry you are going through such a heartbreaking ordeal

    ~D.C.

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  60. This is horrible news. Losing everything...Do not know what to say. Visited your blog regularly and always enjoyed reading it. Will think of you a lot.

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  61. My heart goes out to you! And I'm sending all the positive vibes I can! Your blog has meant a lot to me over the last few years as I enters this community so thank you so much and I pray you find your feet soon x

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  62. Oh, I cannot believe this, I read the title of this post and thought it was some sort of weird joke. Unbelievable, I am so sorry that you and Tony have to face this terrible situation. My thoughts and prayers are with you both. Jessica, you are strong and endlessly positive, you will get through this. Xxx

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  63. Glenn and I are so sad for you both. It is heart wrenching to read this post and see the devastating photographs. All the comments above echo how I feel about the strength of the friendships flowing out from Chronically Vintage. You are both in our thoughts and prayers, dear friend. I agree with Mim that we will welcome you with open arms when the time is right for you to return to Chronically Vintage. With love, Glenn and Elizabeth xxxxx

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  64. I was horrified to read about the fire, Jessica. Thank goodness you, Tony and Annie got out alive and hopefully Stella will turn up soon. I'm keeping everything I can crossed that she will.
    Blog when you feel ready, we're going nowhere. xxxx

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  65. Oh Jessica, once again I'm so deeply sorry and sad what has happen to you and your husband, though thank god you still have each other!
    Lots of love Camilla xo

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  66. I can't find words to say how much my heart goes out to you and Tony. You and your little family are in my thoughts. Much love XOXOXO

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  67. I am so so sorry Jessica. That this would happen to such a kind and sweet person as you is hard to accept. I've only known you through your blog but so appreciate your support of my fumbling efforts to get started with Etsy and blogging. I've really admired your success am sure that you will return and rebuild. Glad to see the donation page. Wishing you and Tony prayers in the road ahead.

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  68. I am so, so sorry! Please, take care of yourself and take all the time needed. (Pity there isn't anything that can be done to that horrible girl) My thoughts and prayers are with you.

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  69. Oh Jessica, this had me in tears. Once again, I am so sorry this has happened to you and Tony, I cannot imagine what you're both going through. My heart goes out to you and I so wish I could come and give you a huge hug. I know you and Tony will get through this, despite how hard it may seem right now and when you're ready to return to this wonderful blog, we'll all be waiting for you. You're in my thoughts constantly, love to you both xxx

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  70. I've been following your blog for a while now, and while I haven't commented before I've always enjoyed reading your posts. I'm so sorry to hear about the fire-- sending thoughts and prayers your way. Caroline

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  71. Oh, I'm so sorry. You are in my prayers!

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  72. Hi Jessica --

    I discovered your blog a few months ago, and have so enjoyed reading your posts. I wish that I had words of wisdom to offer, but nothing seems adequate. I am truly sorry that such an awful thing has happened to you, and send you my best wishes from Florida.

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  73. Oh my word, I am so, so sorry to hear that! Hopefully Stella hid somewhere safe and will come back soon. I send you lots of strength to rebuild your home somewhere!

    -Kati

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  74. oh my gosh...so sad to har that....
    http://www.youtube.com/c/MissLovelyAttitude
    http://lovelyattitude.com

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  75. Dear Jessica,
    I happened to just stumble on your blog today, and this was the first post I've seen. I can only imagine how much your heart aches. I too, was a house fire victim due to a senseless tenant disconnecting the smoke alarms in our family home... and then proceeded to put her cigarette out in the couch above me. Both situations were senseless and selfish acts. I am sending all of my positive vibes and prayers your way. I know words can't do much, but I hope you know you have people thinking of you.

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  76. i'm so sorry for you and your husband Jessica. Sending my prayers and love!

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  77. Jessica, I have already commented on your FB page but just wanted to send my condolences again. My heart breaks for you. A house fire is my all time biggest fear. I'm very glad that you, Tony and Annie are safe! Holding out hope for sweet Stella. You are the most kind and sweetest person, a breath of fresh air in this glass half empty world. Hopefully there are some charges brought against this horrible girl. I look forward to you coming back to the blogging world when you are ready. Always know that there are so many people that care about you and want to help. I am getting together a care package to mail out later this week. Hugs to you from Minoa, NY.

    ~Lorie

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  78. Dear Jessica I am still speechless. I will share your story and can only wish but positive things for you both. I cannot imagine all that you must be going through. Hugs. Lorena

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  79. Oh Jessica, I'm so sorry! I'll be donating and I do hope that all the love we have for you guys with warm you in this dreadful time.

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  80. Oh Jessica, I saw this on Instagram and am just so gutted for you and Tony. What an unimaginable tragedy--I am so, so sorry for your tremendous loss. You are one of the kindest and most genuine people I have ever encountered online, always giving so much of yourself by engaging your readers and putting forth such an enormous effort when it comes to content and your writing and photography; I hope that the outpouring of support continues for as long as you and Tony need it. I truly cannot imagine the pain and shock you both must be feeling now but hope that you both feel the love and support of your online friends. Thinking of you, and shedding some tears for you, too. <3

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  81. I am so sorry. My prayers are with you.

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  82. God in heaven, Jessica, I am so, so sorry. Words are utterly inadequate to describe how my heart breaks for you. This sort of thing ought not happen to such a truly beautiful person, but our world is fallen and wretched, and the good, too are harmed. Oh, my heart breaks!

    I'm very sorry to hear about sweet, darling little Stella. Last year our alarms have gone off in the middle of the night (a false alarm, thank God), and though Ben stays close, the cats of course take off to hide. I know all too well the terror, the fear, not being able to find the precious little things that give us so much joy and affection, and if I could give you a big, big hug and then let you sit and play with our cats I would! Oh, I am so sorry.

    You and Tony and Annie will be in our thoughts and prayers, very much so. If there is anything at all you think I can do, Jessica, please do not hesitate to contact me via whatever means available to you! God bless, you dear heart, and I know we'll hear from you again soon. I pray for the comforting of your wounds, for peace in the midst of a terrible storm, that the Good Shepherd wrap you both in His arms.

    xoxoxo

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  83. WE ARE YOUR FAMILY!
    This is the time to show this. This is when our family ties have to be the strongest strings, pulling you out - from this cruel strike the reality has given you (of all the people I know, why you?!)
    I have no smarter words.
    Again, I say: as soon as you have an address, let me know, and I'll send you a box - hopefully, others will follow, and we will start re-building your wardrobe (at least that much). Slowly, this may help to heal your broken heart.
    Anything you need - ask, don't hesitate.

    PS.
    Stella is a CAT. As far as cats go, I know one thing: they are equipped with Nature's strongest survival instinct. I may not be certain that she will come back to YOU, but.. from time to time - do check the area around the house. Cats bounce out of trouble, their senses lead them out of harms way. Cats return to the "house", because they have a close relation to the territory.
    I have seen fires. I have seen cats after fires. They are tough little fur-balls, my dear. They just look shy.

    Brave, brave Jessica - I offer you & Tony my hug
    (I would be offering you my home, with the gates wide open, but the distance is making that one kind of hard to achieve - still: the invitation stands).

    Marija

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  84. This is the worst news. Using my best imagination skills, I still cannot fathom how awful this must be for you and Tony. I'm glad you escaped with Annie and have hopes that Stella escaped. And having family to stay with while life gets sorted again should help, right? I am so, so sorry to hear of this loss. But you will rebuild, bigger, stronger, and better. I know it. Hugs.

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  85. I am so devastated to hear this happened. I will absolutely do what I can to help you. Glad you, Tony & Annie are safe. I hope Stella was able to make her way through and that you'll be reunited soon.

    Sending love,
    Ivy

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  86. Wow! So sorry! You are in my thoughts a prayers! I'll definitely be sharing your story to solicit others to help out.

    Keep us updated!

    Caitlin

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  87. This is so devastating, there aren't really any words. I saw mention of this on facebook earlier today, and have not been able to stop thinking about it. This could not have happened to a nicer, sweeter soul than you (and Tony!) and I sincerely hope that everything from here on out is only on an upswing for everyone.

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  88. I am so sorry that this terrible thing has happened to you and your family. Fingers crossed Stella turns up unharmed.

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  89. Dear Jessica,

    I can't even to begin to imagine how you must feel like. When I read your post, I started crying, couldn't help it. No amount of words will be enough in a situation such as this, but I just want you to know that both you and your husband will be in my thoughts and prayers. I would invite you to stay at my home, but since it is a bit far, just know that there is a place in Finland ready to welcome you should you decide to travel here someday. Lots of love and hugs. <3

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  90. My dear and kind Jessica, I'm reading this only now and I'm speechless. I'm so, so sorry! I wish to do something to help you. You are a very strong and optimistic person. My thoughts are with you. You'll manage it, I have no doubt about that.

    Many hugs from Portugal to you <3

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  91. I'm so sorry, even though I know that sorry doesn't even begin to cover it. Know that I will be sharing your story and keeping you both in my thoughts and prayers!

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  92. I think of you all every day and pray that Stella made it out safely. Many hugs to you dear one and we will all be here when you return to blogging. xxxxxxx

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  93. Such sad and terrible news. I was totally shocked to read it. You are both young and healthy and will bounce back. It looks as if your fellow vintage collectors will be able and willing to help you get things together again.
    You are in my thoughts.

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  94. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

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  95. The important thing is that you're both alive and well! Is it possible that your cat might have escaped? I suggest you take this as a chance for a new begining and may God help you to rebuild your life even better than before!

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  96. Dear Jessica, I have just read this with dismay and feeling so much sadness for you and Tony. But, you still have each other and your beautiful dog and I hope that a miracle brings Stella back to you. Sending love and thinking of you; take as much time as you need to get back again to blogging, I'll be here, looking forward to seeing you again. Until then, take care, Elizabeth. xx

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  97. I am so sorry this horrendous event happened to you! I can't even begin to imagine what you guys must be going through right now. I am sending lots of positive thoughts and love your way. Stay strong! <3

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  98. Again I am so deeply sorry for you all, I can't even imagine what you are going through and you have consistently been in my thoughts.

    Has anyone Stella is confident around gone back to the house to see if she has somehow got back inside? xxx

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  99. Much love and best wishes dear Jessica for all three of you. I will help out however I can! <3

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  100. I cannot imagine what this feels like for you. I am so sorry that someone has caused this to happen to you.xx

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  101. Jessica, I am so sorry for the tragedy that you and your family have experienced. It broke my heart to hear what you have been through. This month has been tough for me due to my brother having a blood clot and now to hear of you facing this horrible tragedy. I am so glad to know that you and your family are safe but am very sorry to hear about your Stella I pray that she is safe and that a miracle happens for her to return. I know that I am new to your blog and the time that I have known you I just wanted to let you know that your a wonderful and incredibly kind person, and I love your knowledge of the vintage era of fashion and life. I would like to send some vintage items in a care package for you. Things will get better and I know that you are a strong individual and will prevail through this I have you and your family in my prayers. Hugs from your friend Dulce. <(^-^)>

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  102. omg I am so sorry to hear that! I feel so bad!! I can't imagine how awful it would be to lose everything:)
    I hope you guys will be ok:)
    xo
    www.laurajaneatelier.com

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  103. Dear Jessica, you are one of my favorite bloggers and etsy shops. I looked on etsy a couple days ago but couldn't find your shop, so I went to website and found your post. It completely broke my heart to see someone react in such a violet way, and in turn destroy the lives of others. I myself have animals, two dogs, a fickle cat, and two old rabbits, and I sincerely wish that your darling Stella is somehow safe. I think that you and your husband are wonderful people who deserve lots of hugs and chocolate.
    Love, Isabella
    Ps. I follow in your footsteps as a vintage collector! Good vibes, peace out.

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  104. I was out grocery shopping with my two littles when I saw your first post about this on facebook. The sadness and shock I felt for you was so overwhelming that the barista I was speaking to had to call my name 3 times before I heard her. I am so sorry for you. This is such an ordeal and going through this is truly a nightmare. Your sweet spirit will help you through, as there is already so much support for you. Please hang in there. My prayers and thoughts are with you, beautiful xox

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  105. I can't imagine what you are going through. This is devastating news. Your lovely wardrobe. So sorry to hear this. My prayers are with you Jessica xx

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  106. Again, I am so unbelievably sorry. This is utterly heartbreaking and I really feel for you. I hope you are able to rebuild as quickly as possible. I have more to say...but there just isn't the words. I'll be thinking of you.

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  107. Omg, i'm so so sorry! :( Glad you and your husband are fine, sorry about your kittie :(

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  108. I'm just completely in shock that something like this has happened. I know it does happen, but it's just unbelievable. I can't understand why someone would start a fire as a response to a fight with their mother, or that it could get out of hand so quickly and just utterly destroy the lives of all 4 families living in your complex.

    I'm so, so, so sorry. I can't imagine what this feels like for you and Tony, but I'm so glad that the two of are safe and that you managed to save your dog as well, and that you have family and friends who can be there for you at a time like this. No one will be able to understand what it feels like for the two of you, but we can all try our hardest to support you in whatever way we can.

    It's hard to even find the right words but I hope it doesn't take too long before the two of you are able to start rebuilding your lives and get back on your feet. I'm thinking of you xxx

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  109. I feel profoundly saddened by this unspeakable tragedy and want to help in any way possible. I'm immensely grateful for your safety and please know how much love and care there is in your community for you.

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  110. I am so, so sad to hear of this tremendous loss to you both. What a dangerous, volatile and utterly senseless act this young girl has committed. I fear she has no idea of the true extent of her actions, which is even worse. I'm so sorry about your cat, I'm sure it's little consolation but you did the right thing. There came a point when you had to get yourself out I'm, but it's still so sad. To lose absolutely everything, all those things with sentimental value, it's just beyond words, I'd be gutted. You are in my thoughts.

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  111. This is such devastating news, I hope that you and your family are recovering and my thoughts are with you. There will be so much love and so much good to come from this and with a new year on it's way, I'm sure there a great things ahead for you and your family. My thoughts are with you. xx

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  112. This is so shocking. I cannot imagine how devastating this has been. I will pray for you and that somehow good will come from this tragedy eventually. I am glad you are safe and hope you will be able to resume your lovely blog someday.

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  113. Dear, dear Jessica, how very very sorry I am to hear this. What a dangerous girl. My thoughts are with you and your loved ones.

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  114. I'm stunned to hear this. I hate that something so awful happened to such a sweet, thoughtful person. I love your blog, and I love how much you care for your pets. I'm so very sad about Stella. I can't imagine how crushed you must feel. Please take as much time as you need to grieve your losses, but do know that my household is grieving with you. Take care.

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  115. Oh Jessica, my heart just breaks for you and your husband. I am so, so, so sorry this happened to you. And sweet Stella....did you ever find her?

    My dear Jessica, please know that I am indeed praying for you as your deal with this. Sending lots of love and hugs your way!

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    1. Thank you deeply, sweet Stephanie. Though we held out a glimmer of unwavering hope until the very last, darling Stella's body was found amongst the charred ruins of our (now former) home on November 6th. Mercifully, it appeared as though she died of smoke inhalation and was not actually burned. That very same day, Tony and I were able to bury her in a private and very solemn ceremony. Her loss is, bar none, the most difficult and painful part of this whole challenging experience. Though gone (an innocent victim of an endlessly senseless crime), we will love her and keep her memory alive in our hearts always.

      Thank you again deeply. A bevy of hugs coming right back at you.

      ♥ Jessica

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