Fire Victim Amazed By Community's Support

TOPEKA, kan. (WIBW)- A Topeka woman was devastated after a fire damaged her home Thursday, but now she has a reason to smile with unexpected support from the Topeka community.

91-year-old Isla Mae Vogel has worked in the doughnut business for more than 30 years.

"Oh, I love working here, oh gosh, I've been in the doughnut business so many years," Isla laughs, "and I enjoy it."

"She loves to work here. This is her favorite place to work," says her coworker, Sarah Wall.

Loyal customers tend to leave tips in the jar, but this time, the tips are for a special cause. On Thursday, Isla's house caught on fire. She first noticed when she saw all the firefighters outside during her walk home from work.

"Oh my gosh, that's my house, I said. I was shocked you know when I walked up here and they said it was mine, you just don't think it happens to other people, but you don't think its going to happen to you ," says Isla.

Isla's home now has boarded up windows. The blaze caused about $50,000 in losses. She even lost all her clothing.

"I'm trying not to be upset," says Isla.

"I was sick to my stomach, you know she lives off a limited income," says her grandson, Brett Thomes.

"She's like a grandma, so it's kinda like your grandma's house caught on fire," cries coworker, Laura Purser.

The day after the fire, Isla came back to the one place she feels at home--serving coffee and donuts at Baker's Dozen.

"I have to give him his coffee," says Isla as she walks coffee over to a customer.

"This is like her other home for her, so this is where she feels comfortable, so I'm like you don't have to work!," says Wall.

But Isla chooses to work anyway and in the meantime, she has seen an out-pour of support from the Topeka community and from Pastor Andy Whitaker Smith from Crestview United Methodist Church.

"We just want to make sure you had some clothing, so we brought some for you," he says.

Isla says she is amazed with all the help she has received thus far and her coworkers say they the fundraising jar will remain right where it belongs.

"As long as she needs it, i think we are going to keep it up there for her," says Wall.

Isla says she is looking forward to rebuilding and living in that same home that she lived in for 52 years. If you want make any donations at all, bring it to Baker's Dozen at 4310 West 21st Street.


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