By Samantha Phillips
Two tragedies that struck in the span of one week late last year left Angie Vint and her children without their loved one and their home, but she is on her way to rebuilding.
Vint is in the process of paying off a land contract she and her late husband, James Vint, had with James’ sister Deborah Demetruk and her husband, John Demetruk, for the 434 Simler St. property the Demetruks owned.
The total amount the Vints agreed to pay in the contract was $95,700, including the $15,950 down payment, according to the Trumbull County Auditor’s website. The Vints had started making payments on the contract in 2013.
The Vint family – Angie, James and their three children, age 11, 12 and 17 – survived after a fire destroyed their home Nov. 16, but three dogs and a bird did not.
Then the unthinkable happened Nov. 22: James Vint, 45, was sorting through community donations in his garage and was trapped when the garage caught fire. He died later that night.
“One day, I have him. The next day, I don’t,” she said tearfully.
The Ohio State Fire Marshal hasn’t released a report on the fire cause yet.
In January, Angela vowed to rebuild a home for her family on the property.
“Now that all this tragedy has happened, that’s where we will be. That’s where my memories of James are. That’s where I will stay,” she said.
Vint’s attorney, Douglas Neuman, said Vint has sufficient funds to pay for the property and acquire the title. Once that is done, she can start taking steps to rebuilding the home.
Deborah Demetruk said she and her husband also had lots of memories involving James on the property, as they lived there before selling the house to the Vints.
“I just miss my brother,” Demetruk said.
Angela and James looked at homes from Wayne Homes, a custom home- building company, after the house fire. When James died, she selected the house he fell in love with.
Wayne Homes estimated the house will take 15 to 18 weeks to build if there are no disruptions, but Vint is unsure of when the construction will start.
Before choosing a date, Vint must obtain the property title, tear down the house and garage, rehouse James’ truck and motorcycle temporarily while the construction is underway and be granted a variance from the city regarding an ordinance on how close to property lines garages must be built.
“That’s my plan for now,” she said.
“It’s not ready to get built. As far as the inside of the house, everything has been picked out but we are just waiting.”
Vint said her temporary home in Liberty is nice, but she and her children miss their neighborhood.
Trying to establish a new home for her family while mourning the loss of her husband, to whom she was married since 1991, and helping her children through their grief comes with pressure, she said.
“I hope all the preliminary things go well, I hope the house gets built and we can move in,” she said. “I am one person, I have been grieving over my husband. My kids are grieving. I’m just doing what I am supposed to do.”
The truck and motorcycle that James loved to ride will be inherited by his sons. They are keepsakes from a loving father taken too soon.