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Donations pour in for Hartland family after devastating fire

More than $90,000 has been raised for a Hartland family whose home was destroyed in an early Monday morning fire that also sent all nine members to the hospital.

The fire began in the farmhouse around 3 a.m., with officials saying it likely started in the laundry room, although it remains under investigation.

Lindsay Rowe said that she and her husband, AJ, woke up to find their home engulfed in flames, with thick smoke that made it hard to see.

“The smoke was SO insane I am not sure how AJ and I managed to even make it out of our bedroom, let alone l find each child, but somehow we did. Barely,” she said.

Rowe said they managed to gather their seven children and then escaped through a second story window, with several of the kids having to jump.

Family members say everyone is making progress, although they didn’t elaborate on the extent of each child’s injuries.

“Mom and dad, from what I understand, are true heroes. Dad became a firefighter at 3:06 in the morning with no training and from what I understand rescued his entire family,” Lt. Trey Herrington with the Hartland Deerfield Fire Authority told WXYZ.

Nearly 40 firefighters from multiple agencies worked to extinguish the fire that essentially destroyed the home. Working smoke detectors are believed to have made a big difference in ensuring the family escaped the home.

The family is best known for their woodworking business caller Rustic Marine, which is located in a separate pole barn.

The Rowe’s started the business after AJ returned from overseas combat duty as a U.S. Marine.

A GoFundMe posted Monday originally set a $50,000 goal, but was quickly surpassed. As of Wednesday morning the goal had been raised to $100,000 with more than $90,000 in donations having been received.

In addition, the Hartland Deerfield Fire Authority station at 3205 Hartland Road is an official drop-off site for clothing donations. Details on the specific needs of the family can be found on the Facebook page of the Friends of Hartland Deerfield Firefighters.

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