House fire stuns Wolfenbarger family, generates support


The good news was that no one was injured. But the tragedy was that the Wolfenbarger family lost everything else when their brand new home burned down on Thursday, July 16.
Two separate salvage companies have determined that none of their belongings was salvageable. The items that were lost were once special to Jeff and Kim Wolfenbarger and their teenage daughter, Isabel.
The family had only moved into the rental home, located on the 36000 block of Old Mill Bridge Road between Selbyville and Fenwick Island, a few months prior. Jeff Wolfenbarger even helped the landlord build the deck, while Kim was putting the finishing touches on interior décor.
“It was brand new. They were very excited about it,” said Jeff’s mother, Dayna Feher. “Things were just getting finished.”
On the night of July 16, Kim and Isabel were away visiting family. Jeff dozed off. When he woke up, he decided to run to the grocery store.
“He got back at 9 o’clock to see the house engulfed in flames. It spread very quickly because the [unfinished] second floor … was just like a huge tinderbox up there,” Feher said. “The house is destroyed. For them, everything inside was destroyed — everything.”
Only items that had been in the garage were salvageable, along with a few of Isabel’s personal items.
Although Feher suggested the cause might have been electrical, the fire’s cause was still under investigation this week.
“Someone has graciously given them a place to live for a while, until they find a home to move into,” Feher said. They hope to rent again in the south coastal area between Route 113 and the beaches, she noted.
The community has stepped up, from Jeff Wolfenbarger’s old D.C. classmates to his Resort Quest coworkers. Some people even drop off checks for her son at Feher’s office.
“He and his family are overwhelmed and grateful, … as am I,” said Feher of the donations and the prayers.
“Donations will be used to purchase not just furniture, but all the other things we take for granted, such as kitchen items, computers, TVs, bedding, towels, phone chargers, and the list goes on...” Annie McDannel wrote when she created her nephew’s crowd-funding donations page. “Unfortunately, the renters’ insurance was not in place yet — they were working on getting it transferred, never dreaming they would actually need it.”
“A lot of people have volunteered furniture, but for right now, it’s really difficult to accept furniture until they find a home to move into,” Feher noted.
Monetary donations can be made online at www.gofundme.com/Wolfenbarger-Fire.