Dan Chiras, a frequent Mother Earth News and Natural Home contributor, built his brick home near Gerald, Missouri, last spring so he could live full-time on the campus of the Evergreen Institute for Renewable Energy and Green Building, where he offers workshops and classes in renewable energy and green building. Earlier this week, that home burned to the ground in a blaze that officials suspect was started by a wood furnace in the basement.
Calling the fire “devastating,” Dan told me he lost everything but his phone, camera, wallet and a pocket knife that he was carrying with him. “Talk about living with less!” he said, adding, “I'm fine. I wasn't home at the time but arrived home five minutes before the house was engulfed in flames.”
Dan has offered workshops on photovoltaics, wind energy, solar hot water, passive solar heating and cooling, natural building techniques and energy efficiency through the Evergreen Institute’s Missouri campus since 2008. The classroom buildings on the property were unharmed.
We send Dan our very best wishes as he deals with this loss.