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Fire leaves Walworth County family without a home days before Christmas

RICHMOND TOWNSHIP (WKOW) — A fire leaves a Walworth County family without a home less than a week before Christmas.

The fire Tuesday night destroyed the Deporters’ home on Lake Lorraine Road in Richmond township, between Whitewater and Delavan.

Dan Deporter was returning home from picking up his daughter from high school when he saw flames coming from their house.

“You don’t have anything to say. Speechless,” he said while standing outside a relative’s house in Whitewater Wednesday.

“It’s a very devastating loss. All our family memories are in there,” his wife Rachel added.

The home they built 18 years ago was destroyed in the fire.

“That’s the only house that we’ve lived in. My husband carried me over the threshold. My babies were born there,” Rachel said.

Neighbor Nick Hough was the first to call 911.

“I was coming home from work in Milwaukee about 6:15 p.m. Came home and the house was engulfed in flames,” he said.

Thankfully, no one was home when the fire broke out. The house is a total loss, including all the family’s Christmas presents. But they were able to save one priceless memento – a photo of the family.

“My kids are a little older now. But this is what we got,” Rachel said.

Hough said the main focus now is to make sure the Deporter family has a good Christmas.

“That’s what this is about is helping your neighbor and making sure that they’re taken care of. We’re going to make a good situation out of a bad situation.” he said.

All the community support is a little overwhelming for the family.

“From providing clothes, from giving us money, to giving us food. I mean, I cannot thank this community more. We have a small community, but there are big hearts here. We’re so thankful,” Rachel said.

The family dog died in the fire.

Rachel, Dan and their three children are staying with relatives in Whitewater for now.

The cause of the fire is unknown.

David Johnson

Reporter, WKOW

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