Beloved neighbor loses dog, belongings in Union Grove mobile home fire; investigation underway
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- An arson investigation is underway after a fire left a woman who neighbors affectionately called Grandma Sue, homeless and heartbroken.
Sue Stice raised her kids in Union Grove. When money got tight, she moved into the Garden Grove mobile home community.
Nine days ago, Stice lost everything, including her beloved pet.
"She was just crying and devastated and bawling her eyes out," said Dawn Leppert, Stice's daughter.
Sue Stice is 73, with a heart of gold after a lifetime of hard knocks.
"My mom's had a difficult life, general growing up, and a lot of tragedy and tragic circumstances and yet she's always remained really strong," said Leppert.
Perhaps this has been her hardest year yet. A stage four cancer diagnosis, chemo and radiation, and now losing her home and best friend, Brandy.
"She was my mom's closest companion. They slept in the same bed every night," said Leppert.
Stice was at a neighbor's Halloween night when the fire sparked.
"And I stood up and I saw the flames. The flames were rolling out over the roof and the whole back end was on fire," said Joann Beguhl, Stice's neighbor.
Beguhl rushed outside, desperate to be sure Stice, who lives next door, was okay.
"Just devastating, she lost absolutely everything," said Beguhl.
"When I came over here I was really worried, and then I saw Susie right in front of the door where 31 -- she came over to me and she was crying and I started crying," said 7th grader Anthony Williams.
Children affectionately referred to Stice as Grandma Sue.
"When she had her dog out, we would go and come up and pet the dog and talk to her and all that, she was a super nice person," said 5th grader Paul Doerr, Stice's neighbor.
"She sits outside a lot with her puppy dog Brandy, who is such a special fur baby," said Beguhl.
Paul Doerr and Anthony Williams say they often would stop over, pet Brandy and talk to Grandma Sue. They say they're missing her and her dog so much.
"I don't have a doggie best friend anymore," said Doerr.
The Racine County Arson Task Force is still investigating the cause of the fire.
Grandma Sue had a new furnace installed recently, but investigators say they're still treating the home like a crime scene.
Friends have set up a gofundme page for Grandma Sue. You can find it by clicking here.