BENSON — A fire that destroyed two homes on North Easy Street in Benson on March 27 displaced two families.
“We got the call around 4:58 p.m. Sunday and both structures were involved when we arrived on scene,” said Benson Fire Chief Keith Spangler. “The fire started at the back of the property and was carried by the wind to the two structures. There also were a couple of out buildings and vehicles that caught on fire.
“Everything was a total loss.”
The fire’s cause is under investigation by the Benson Police Department, Spangler said. The displaced families are being assisted by the Red Cross.
In addition to Benson police and fire departments, Pomerene, St. David and Mescal fire responded, as well as the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office and the Department of Public Safety.
Sandra Weldy, her 10-year-old grandson and two roommates were among those who were displaced and are now living in a hotel.
“They lost everything, but were blessed with their lives,” said Najayyah Many Horses, a friend of Weldy’s through their mutual involvement in the Community Food Pantry of Benson. “Sandra has been a dedicated volunteer at the pantry for at least nine years, long before I ever started volunteering there. Everyone loves her cheery voice and signature long-flowing peasant skirts.”
On Friday, the food pantry is hosting a 1940s old-time radio show, complete with sound effects and live singers. While the event was initially organized as a fundraiser to support pantry operations, Many Horses said proceeds will now be used to help Weldy and her family.
“Every dollar we make will be used to help the Weldy household,” she said. “Tickets are $15 and include an extensive salad bar, dessert bar and three delicious homemade soups. The Fault Line Players will be providing entertainment by airing a laugh-filled show called ‘Talk of the Town,’ so it should be a fun evening for everyone.”
Tickets can be purchased on the food pantry website, www.communityfoodpantryofbenson, or on the pantry Facebook page.
“Even if you can’t attend the event, we urge you to purchase a ticket to help Sandra and her family, as every dollar will be donated for that purpose,” Many Horses said.
The event will be held at Calvary Baptist Church, 2300 Calvary Lane in Benson 6-8 p.m. Friday.