By Connie Leonard
LOUISVILLE (WAVE) --
Help is on the way for several Louisville artists who lost their home
and a longtime companion in a fire this weekend. Fire officials are
still trying to determine what caused the three-alarm blaze in the 900
block of Shelby Parkway Saturday. WAVE 3's Connie Leonard
reports that planning for several fundraisers is under way to
help those artists who lost everything get back on their feet.
are memories of a street filled with neighbors who were like family,
talented young artists who for seven years lived and worked and created
together through an underground art movement known as LAVA House.
Co-founder Aron Conaway told WAVE 3 News, "It's really about
the process and everybody having a tight community. We didn't have
cubicles around each other, and it wasn't sterile."
House artist Hannah Cameron added: "If I hadn't met everybody who lived
and worked here -- we had some crazy stories, but most just
amazing -- and everybody had the most amazing opportunities here."
the memories will always remain, everything else -- including hundreds
of pieces of art and a beloved dog named Helvis -- was lost to raging
"Everybody's still in shock and it's hard to even come to grasp with what's really happened," Cameron said.
wife, Hallie Jones, says the financial loss is also
great. "The amount of equipment that we had, hundreds of thousand
of dollars were lost."
But, the most devastating loss
didn't come by way of a paintbrush or camera. A cherished friend, Bill
Christie, who lived in the warehouse, didn't make it out alive.
"I've been thinking about Bill in such a deep way that I forget about the warehouse," Conaway said.
said Christie, a retired Navy officer, was a big kid who took care of
them and everyone else at LAVA House -- even their dog, Disco.
Now Conaway and Jones are working through their grief by documenting Christie's life, the LAVA House
and the fire on their website as well as giving the community
information about local fundraisers to try and help the artists who
lost their life's work and their home.
"We're all really going to have to cope with the fact that our lives are changing completely," Conaway said.
Third Street Dive held the first of several fundraisers Monday night. Wick's Pizza, Baxter Bar and the Brickhouse Community Center are also hosting events to help the artists in the next few weeks.
Click here to find out more about upcoming fundraisers.
Online Reporter: Connie Leonard
Online Producer: Charles Gazaway