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Family holds onto hope after woman’s Bible, crosses found in rubble from deadly fire

Published: Sep. 28, 2021 at 8:06 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Debbie Nielsen’s life was cut short after a Saturday morning house fire in west Wichita. While her family grieves, what they found in the rubble after the fire is making the difficult chapter bittersweet. A Bible and two crosses were the only possessions left after a total loss.

“These are the items that bring more hope than anything else we could have found in the house because it just gives us strength,” Nielsen’s son-in-law, John Patrick said.

He said Nielsen spent much of her time reading and studying her Bible. The family takes comfort from her faith and the surviving reminders of it as they’re left with seemingly countless questions about the fire that started suddenly. Nielsen’s husband of 40 years is now left without a wife and a home.

“Finances are very hard. He was even working that morning to pay the bills and keep (Nielsen) in her home,” Patrick said.

The family continues to hold onto hope.

“(We are) heartbroken, of course, but also being able to find these stained-glass crosses and her Bibles just lets us know that we can go through the fire, but we will not be consumed,” Patrick said.

As they wait for answers into what happened Saturday morning, Nielsen’s family is working to raise money for funeral expenses. The family created a memorial page on Facebook to help pay for a memorial and cover losses from the fire. You can find that page here.

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