Couple rebuilding after fire destroys home in Meriden

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- A Meriden couple escaped their burning home unharmed as an overnight fire destroyed it.

Clifford and Diana Funk have lived there for 16 years.

"My life just went up in flames, it's just, devastating that you lose your house and everything in it," Clifford said.

Diana Funk woke up smelling smoke and alerted her husband Cliff.

"I couldn't breathe, and that's what caused me to wake up," she said.

"God brought us out safe, because if we'd both been sleeping, we both could've been gone," Clifford said.

The couple grabbed their four dogs and just made it out of the home.

"I saw the flames spiking up through the ceiling in the back room where the heater was, so I ran back around the house." Diana said. "I came in, I woke Clifford up, and as soon as he woke up enough I told him to call 911."

Soldier Twp. Firefighters arrived around midnight at the house, 2227 NE 74th Street, to put out the blaze, but not before it left the structure “a complete loss,” firefighter Shiloh Burris explained.

“My parents Cliff and Diana Funk are left with nothing, just the clothes on their backs and a room in my house,” Paul Funk messaged 13 NEWS via Facebook. He said his mother works for the Veterans’ Administration and was set to retire in 2020. His father is a Navy veteran who served for 27 years.

They are currently working with the VA to rebuild.

A Facebook fundraising page has been set up to help the Cliff and Diana. Donations can be made here.

“We need all the help and support we can get to help them rebuild and move on from this tragic loss,” Paul added.