WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A Wichita woman is thanking the many strangers who stepped up to help rebuild her home following a fire.
“I have had so many people come and help me. I will be forever grateful. Without all these people, there is no way I would have had my house back now,” said Marsha Dupuy.
Dupuy’s kitchen caught fire in May. The fire, deemed accidental, totaled the kitchen and eating area. It also damaged the nearby rooms.
“The whole kitchen was gone. The living room was mainly smoke damage and a lot of cosmetic,” she explained.
Already down on her luck, the mother of four turned to the community for help.
“They seen it on the news and they reached out on the GoFundme page, and then, they started contacting me through email. I felt bad, but at the same time, it was like, I wouldn’t have been able to do it without them. I would have had to walk away from it because there is no way I could have saved the house,” Dupuy explained.
Kevin Bowen, a general contractor and Seamless Gutter Guy, is one of the people who reached out to Dupuy after seeing her original story on KSN.
“I thought she was a good candidate to, you know, help her out and the struggles she went through in the prior years, how could you help out a better person?” said Bowen.
More people followed suit.
“Kevin had called me and he said, ‘could you pull a permit for this lady? She had her house burn up,'” said Vincent Flippin with VJ Construction Engineering.
“Whenever he told me this was going on, I was just taken away when I heard about it,” said Balanced Mechanical Experience LLC Owner Adam Morris. “We are happy to lend a hand. Small part, but it’s what we could do.”
The men, along with Dupuy and her family managed to install new floors, an HVAC system, electricity and dry wall.
“We worked on the house from the time we woke up ’til the time we went to bed,” Dupuy said.
Five months later, Dupuy and her family were able to move back in.
“They really saved my home and my kids’ home,” she said.
KSN first met Dupuy in 2018 after she answered a stranger’s plea and donated a kidney to a stranger.
The woman who she donated a kidney to also pitched in and helped Dupuy recover from the fire.
Dupuy said the volunteers saved her about $30,000 in rebuilding supplies and labor.
Preferred Electrician, Sam’s Club, Nolan Todd, Oaklawn Elementary, Connie Tofoya, and John and Ryan Shrewsbury also helped with the renovations.