LINO LAKES — A longtime daycare provider is thankful all seven children she was caring for are safe after a fire broke out in her home.
Becky Marshall has lived in Lino Lakes for 42 years and has been operating a home day care for 38 of them.
At 11:04 a.m. Friday, June 12, the Lino Lakes Fire Department (LLFD) was dispatched to Marshall’s home on Sandpiper Drive near Chomonix Golf Course. Mutual aid was provided by the Centennial Fire District as well as Spring Lake Park, Blaine, Mounds View and White Bear Lake fire departments.
“We were outside playing, drawing pictures on the driveway with chalk and playing in the sandbox, and I heard my dog Marley barking,” Marshall recalled. Becky thought Marley
needed to go outside so she proceeded to walk up her deck stairs to let him out of the sliding glass door in the kitchen when she said, “smoke came billowing out.”
“I was in shock and disbelief. I was so glad we were outside,” she said. Within seconds, Marshall sprang into action to make sure all of the children in her care were safe. She returned to the children, called 9-1-1 and the group headed over to a neighbor’s house.
Within minutes, Marshall said the “outpouring of love” began. Children in the neighborhood who used to attend day care there brought over snacks for the seven children and distracted them with some handmade bracelets. “They really didn’t have to witness a lot of what was going on, but you could tell they were getting a little nervous when all of the fire equipment started showing up,” she said.
Once Marshall was able to safely walk through what was left of her home, it was clear that very little was salvageable. Christi Bewell, who is married to Marshall’s son Cassidy, said, “It was totally surreal. I did not feel like I was standing in the same house anymore. I knew where I was, but there was nothing that looked like Becky’s house. The entirety of the top floor was totally charred ... There was no upstairs bathroom anymore, you couldn’t see the sink, bathtub or toilet anymore.”
Thankfully, Marley and one other dog and two cats all made it out of the fire. Marshall, an avid quilter, is also happy that it looks like most of her quilts can be saved. “The stuff in the house was just stuff, but the people are what really matters,” she said.
LLFD Deputy Director Dan L’Allier said the cause of the fire was determined to be electrical. Bewell said it may have been started by a wiring issue in a lighting fixture in the downstairs bathroom.
Bewell is one of four people who sprang into action to get a recovery fund set up for Becky on GoFundMe. The fundraiser was initially set up with a $1,000 goal, but Bewell says that goal has been changed numerous times now thanks to the generosity of family, friends and strangers. In less than 24 hours, the page had surpassed its goal of $10,000. As of press deadline, $20,600 had been raised by 171 donors.
“Becky is the most generous person I have ever met, without question,” Bewell said. The GoFundMe site was created to help with Becky’s immediate needs including clothing, lost wages, etc. Marshall said she continues to be amazed by the outpouring of support. “It is so heartwarming, touching and overwhelming ... I don’t know what to say.”
Marshall plans to rebuild on her property and resume providing day care once she is able.
“I am choosing to be positive going forward,” she said. “With the love and support I am getting and God’s help, things will be fine.”
If you would like to make a donation, visit Marshall's gofundme page.
Lead Editor Shannon Granholm can be reached at 651-407-1227 or email@example.com.