Members of the Auburn Second Ward had just come home from church when they were warned of the approaching flames and given just fifteen minutes to evacuate. Except for a few photographs and some important documents, Steve and Susie Hardman escaped with just the clothes on their backs.
“This was my parents’ dream home,” said their daughter, Shannon Hardman, her voice shaking. “We built it together as a family when I was five years old.”
Shannon’s brother, Scott, his wife and one-year-old son were also living in the home. He had just graduated from chiropractic school and was looking for a house to buy. To save money, the young family was using his parents’ garage as a storage facility.
Despite losing everything, the Hardmans are grateful that everyone escaped without injury.
“If it had happened any earlier, everyone would have still been at church and not been able to save anything,” Shannon Hardman said. “Any later, and they would have probably all been taking a nap.”
Three other families in the ward also lost their homes in the blaze. “They’re all empty-nesters,” said Bishop Mike Trentman of the Auburn Second Ward. “Luckily, the Hardman baby was the only child affected.”