Family, friends help a family of 11 rebuild after fire

UPPER HANOVER TWP., Pa. - October 27, 2011

When fire badly damaged the Upper Hanover Township home of the Nost family on Wednesday, it didn't take long for the local Mennonite Church community and neighbors to respond.

"He did a lot for us, and he's a good guy," says Ralph Mack.

Stephen and Evylyn Nost have 9 children ages 4 to 22. An electrical fire that apparently started behind a dryer did close to $150,000 in damage. Thankfully, everyone got out safely and weren't homeless for very long.

Friends gave them two campers that allowed them all to stay together on the Layfield Road property, and work began on the interior of the house shortly after that, with some of the children pitching in.

Stephen Nost is a self-employed excavator. He says the family carries no insurance; no one at the Mennonite Church in Harleysville does. He says they help each other and will raise the necessary funds for the materials and permits through donations.

"This is a typical response in our community when there is a fire or anything like that, where everyone reaches out because that's what we're here for," says Stephen Nolt.

"It's the right thing to do," said Patrick Carberry. "A lot of us in the area are neighbors, and when something like this happens, tragedy, we just pull together, stick together and get the job done."

As volunteers work on the Nolt's four bedroom house, several of the women from the church were busy preparing lunch.

The Nolt's are hoping to be back inside their home by sometime in November, and given help of their family and friends, that seems like a pretty realistic goal.

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