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Carbon County communities rally around family after fire destroys home

Posted at 5:49 PM, Jan 17, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-18 11:19:13-05

EDGAR — One Edgar family is picking up the pieces of their home after a fire destroyed it on Tuesday. Now, the Carbon County community is rallying around the Worden family.

"Their lives are pretty much turned upside down. They lost their entire house. I believe there were two pets in the house and all their belongings as well,” said Jennifer Hickok, Fromberg Public Schools superintendent and high school principal, on Wednesday.

Sarah and Eric Worden lived out their worst nightmare when a fire fueled by high winds engulfed their house and displaced all eight members of the family. The couple have six kids, ranging from ages seven to 19, along with three dogs.

“When you drive by and you see a fire and you see the kid’s car parked there. You hope that, you put yourself there, and you don’t want kids hurt,” Hickok said.

The Worden kids

It's why several businesses in the community, along with Fromberg Public Schools, are wrapping their arms around the Wordens.

“The school has decided to do gift cards to different things or different businesses. That is being led by two staff members here,” said Hickok.

Edgar's well-known watering hole, the Edgar Bar, is also stepping up.

“Tomorrow night, we’re going to have a benefit for them. We’re going to do a pot roast dinner, pot roast, mashed potatoes, corn, and a salad for $25 a plate,” said Angi Old Dwarf, Edgar's bar manager.

The family's eldest son actually works as a dishwasher at the bar, just minutes from their former home.

Eric and Sarah Worden

“Our hearts just sank because we know what a sweet good kid Eric is, all the kids are really good kids,” Old Dwarf said.

In a small community like theirs, help is around every corner. Fromberg's Tomahawk Restaurant and Casino raised money for the Wordens Tuesday night.

“We do a Taco Tuesday, whatever, just get people out of the house. It’s usually a good evening, as soon as we thought about it, it was like, okay we’re going to donate down to these guys,” said part owner of Tomahawk's, Nathan Caton.

Fundraisers even stretch to Billings. The Enzo Bistro in Billings, which is owned by the Edgar Bar's former owner, will be accepting donations for the family this week.

“Somebody’s affected one way or another by it a little bit more than the rest. Just sitting on your hands and doing nothing doesn’t help anybody,” Caton said.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation. Investigators believe it was accidental.

You can drop off or send donations and gift cards to any of the locations mentioned above, including Fromberg Public Schools.