JIM THORPE, CARBON COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A community came together to help the family of a woman who died in a house fire over the weekend.
Eyewitness News spoke with people close to Lynn Highland at a fundraiser for her family Wednesday night. They shared a sense of who Lynn was: the life of the party.
“It’s been extremely devastating. It’s really, really hard,” close friend Melissa Kowatch said.
Lynn Highland, 54, died when her house in Jim Thorpe went up in flames Sunday morning.
Her husband Tom Highland, a Jim Thorpe Borough councilman, was severely injured. He is still fighting for his life in the hospital.
Lynn’s death left a huge hole in the tight-knit community.
“She was just a very special person who can’t be replaced and I have a big hole in my heart,” friend Helen Van Pelt said.
Friends and family gathered at Stone Row Pub & Eatery Wednesday night. Lynn’s favorite duo, House of Hammil played a song they wrote for her. Owner and chef, Margaret White, says 100 percent of the proceeds go to the Highlands.
“We provide comfort, and that’s what people need right now. They needed a place and a time to be able to say, ‘We need to support one another,’ and ‘Can we talk about these amazing people, can we share food together, can we raise money together’?” Stone Row Pub & Eatery owner/chef Margaret White said.
They shared stories and cherished memories, most of them having to do with the way Lynn loved to dance, lit up a room, and above all, her ability to bring people together.
“She was very welcoming. The minute she met me, she made me feel like one of the group,” friend Donna Kirk said.
“If you walked down the street anywhere here somebody would know Lynn and have a memory about her and we’re just going to keep her spirit alive. She was so full of life and spirit and fun,” Kowatch said.
Wednesday night, friends told Eyewitness News Tom is stable. A state police fire marshal is investigating the cause of the fire.
Friends and family are asking people to support Lynn and Tom’s business, Highland Beverages in Jim Thorpe.
The event raised $2400 in total for the Highland family.