Life For Youth Camp co-founder's home damaged in fire - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Life For Youth Camp co-founder's home damaged in fire

picture by WPTV picture by WPTV

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY, Fla.-- Staff at the Youth for Life Camp in Indian River County Wednesday saw the extent of the damage from a powerful fire on the property last night.

No children were hurt. The fire started in a home that belonged to the elderly founder of the Christian camp.

Staff now hopes the community will step up to help the woman who has given so many memories to children for decades.

The camp offers a place for groups to canoe, rock climb, drive go karts, and worship.

Thousands of kids have spent time there over the 54 years the camp has been open. It was co-founded by Betty Stevens, 86, who lives in a home on the property.

Co-Director Sherri Stevens says the memories now taken from her mother-in-law are heartbreaking.

"I tear up when I think about the dishes that were handed down from grandparents that are now gone and you know, everything is just crumbled," Stevens said.

Betty was sitting in her living room Tuesday night when the lights suddenly went out. "She was concerned, got up and tried to go to her garage through the utility room and realized that it was on fire," Stevens said.

Betty escaped unharmed. Investigators believe the fire started from a golf cart in the garage. "Her safety was the main concern and we're just so grateful that it didn't happen later. She could have been sleeping," Stevens said.

The cleanup will be intense and costly. Stevens says their insurance won't cover the cost of completely rebuilding the home.

"This was her life estate. This was her home, this is where everything is. She had the memories of her husband," Stevens said.

The non- profit relies on donations . They will be essential to help Betty get back on her feet.

If you'd like to donate, Youth For Life staff is setting up a PayPal account on their website.

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