West Seattle woman caring for dying husband loses home to a fire

SEATTLE -- A West Seattle woman caring for her dying husband lost their home and belongings to a fire.

From the outside the home doesn’t look too bad but one step inside, and you can see the devastating impact.

Eileen Riddle, her husband and daughter were all inside the home when the garage caught fire.

“I couldn’t breathe. I had to shut the door. I had to start screaming, 'Everyone out!'” Riddle said.

The flames spread quickly. When it was over, almost all of their valuables were gone.

“It’s hard to grasp everything right now, you are trying to tend to medical issues and your trying to tend to what’s going on here,” Riddle said.

Her husband, Greg, was diagnosed with lung and liver cancer on Christmas Eve.

“He is in pretty bad shape, he is not in good shape at all,” Riddle said.

With all of their energy spent dealing with the diagnosis, the last thing they needed was their home of 26 years to be destroyed just a month later.

“He knows he is going to pass and he wants to pass here so that is upsetting that it could be somewhere else,” Riddle said.

Their most urgent need right now is temporary housing. The family is looking for a West Seattle home suitable for her sick husband.

“I need a one-level house with hardly any stairs, maybe a rambler-type house or something,” Riddle said.

It could take up to six months for their home to be rebuilt. For now, she hopes her husband will be healthy enough to move back in.

“Recently he will say I love you and I will say I love you and he will say I love you more,” Riddle said.

Sunday’s fire was deemed an accident. Their insurance company will pay to rebuild the new home. The family will stay in a motel until they can find temporary housing. They are in need of financial help to replace everything they have lost. You can donate by going to any Sterling Savings Bank location or by going to www.gofundme.com6ikduc.

If you want to donate clothing, you can drop it off at Boulevard Park Place Retirement at 2805 South 125th in Seattle.