OCONTO, Wis. (WFRV) — As tragedy unfolded Friday, Steve Hirschfield’s Oconto home became an information center.
“This was the place where the police department and the fire investigators and everybody came to talk to the family,” Hirschfield said.
The fire, which broke out early Friday morning, claimed the lives of 35-year-old Katherine DeCoursin and her three kids: 15-year-old Jeri Schroeder, 13-year-old Dalton Schroeder, and 11-year-old Nicholas DeCoursin.
“Kathy was such a well-known person in the community that she touched everybody she ran across,” Hirschfield said. “And the kids knew everybody and they were friendly.”
In the days since the fire, Hirschfield’s home has once again become a central location, this time for the benefit that will raise money for immediate family members of the victims.
“Help ease the burden of the cost of the funerals,” Hirschfield said.
The benefit will be held at Crivello’s Restaurant in Oconto on March 28, from noon to five p.m.
“I don’t think anybody will ever get past it,” Hirschfield said of the tragic fire, “it’ll be in peoples’ minds and their hearts forever and ever. It’s hard to deal with it, but you have to do it to keep moving on.”
Ahead of the benefit, organizers are asking for donations for bucket raffles, or silent auction.
Donations to the family can also be made through a fund set up at the Oconto and Oconto Falls locations of the N.E.W. Credit Union.
“Everybody in the community liked her [Kathy] so much that it’s the least they can do is try to help and that’s what everyone is doing,” Hirschfield said. “Even though it’s pretty hard because it’s so fresh in everybody’s hearts and minds.”
To learn more about the benefit, click here.