Babble Blogger Saves Her Children But Loses Home to Fire

monica bielanko, fire safety, monica bielanko fire fundraiser
The Bielanko's rental home, up in smoke. Photo by Shannon Allison.

Babble blogger Monica Bielanko – who writes for Strollerderby, Being Pregnant and Toddler Times – lost the Pennsylvania home she and her husband Serge recently relocated to from Utah to fire yesterday. The news came as a total shock to all of us here and of course to Monica, who was home with her two children, Violet (age 2) and baby Henry, when the fire started around 1 pm. At 1:22 Bielanko tweeted, “MY HOUSE IN FIRE. EVERYTHING WE OWN,” followed by “UP IN FLAMES. FIRE AND SMOKE EVERYWHERE” and “FIREFIGHTERS SPRAYING FROM OUTSIDE. CAN’T GO IN. OH DEAIR JESUS GOD OH MY GOD EVERYTHING.”

The Centre Daily Times reports, “The fire, which gutted the second story of the house, was brought under control within an hour, but firefighters at 2:30 p.m. continued to douse hot spots.”

Babble blogger Katie Allison Granju spoke to Monica last night, and relayed via a post on Mama Pundit that “the cause of the blaze isn’t known yet,” but “the fire appears to have started in or somewhere near Violet’s upstairs bedroom,” where the 2-year-old was playing alone at the time. Granju wrote, “Monica had the horrifying experience of having to rescue her baby girl from a room already engulfed in flames.”

Granju says, “While it will take days or more to determine the full extent of the loss of their belongings, we already know that the losses are extensive. Additionally, while they are able to stay with Serge’s mom for now, we know for certain that the family will have to relocate soon to a new rental home, and start completely over. And unfortunately and to their eternal regret they were not adequately covered by renters’ insurance.” So here’s how we can help:

You can donate any amount you see fit (Granju says, “even $5 helps!”) to the Bielanko Family Fire Emergency Fundraiser, either via PayPal at email address (please indicate that your gift is for the Bielanko Family Fire Fund) or by sending a check to Serge and Monica Bielanko, Bielanko Family Fire Fund/4300 Fulton Dr./Knoxville, TN 37918. Finally, you can also send a gift certificate or card from either Target or Walmart (both local to the Bielankos) to be used toward groceries, gas or clothing/shoes for the children. Please send gift certificates by email to

For more information on fundraising efforts, visit Mama Pundit. You can send a message of support to Monica via Twitter, or by leaving a comment below.

Article Posted 5 years Ago

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