BEACH HAVEN – When a Holgate home was destroyed by a fire on Jan. 31, local residents stepped up to help the renter.
Keith Kirsch, Manalapan resident and Holgate renter, created a GoFundMe on Jan. 31 to raise money for Jacqueline Niederle, the victim of the house fire who lost nearly all her belongings to the blaze.
While Kirsch’s generosity aims to raise money for Niederle, he noted that he has no relation to the victim. His own Holgate home was damaged by the fire as it is located next door to Niederle’s, which is how he discovered her.
“I went to check on my house damage from the fire and I saw Jackie (the renter) in the burnt out house after the fireman put the fire out,” said Kirsch. “She was sifting through the burnt rubble to find any personal belongings with a plastic beach shovel. She had lost everything she had in the house, all possessions, paperwork and sentimental items.”
Both Kirsch and Beach Haven resident Lauren Moritz joined efforts to help Niederle get back on her feet.
The GoFundMe states: “On January 31, a longtime local renter Jacqueline Niederle lost all her possessions as the home she was renting in LBI burnt down…By the grace of God Jackie and her beloved dog Maylee which she adopted were rescued from the horrific fire.”
Kirsch said that Niederle and Maylee were saved from the blaze from the second floor balcony by some contractors who noticed her from across the street.
The site also shows a photo demonstrating what little remains Niederle was able to salvage all covered in ash from the fire.
Beach Haven Volunteer Fire Company responded to the Jan. 31 fire at Niederle’s residence at approximately 11:30 a.m. The company noted that numerous local agencies came out to help extinguish the fire. While it was put out, some other homes, such as Kirsch’s were damaged. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
With $4,565 of the $10,000 goal raised as of Feb. 5, the fundraiser will help Niederle replace essential items such as clothing, food, dog food, pet supplies, medicine, cosmetics, toiletries, and rent, said Kirsch.
Those who wish to donate can do so by contacting Lauren Moritz at 609-969-1043 or visiting the GoFundMe at gofundme.com/jacqueline-niederle?fbclid=IwAR1ojZpLJNcle5qf3bthYt04WhJjGfsoUd0T5Ytws_H8xU3HNxGcyoUMAVA.
In the meantime, Kirsch noted that Niederle is staying with a friend on Long Beach Island.
Kirsch also praised Moritz for her help, stating “She was on the ground in LBI coordinating all donations that were not monetary. She collected and coordinated all the clothes and supplies and delivered them to Jackie and helped with things such as getting new car keys made for Jackie so she will be able to drive again.”