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Hurst family hurt in house fire gets community support


IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - The community is coming together to raise funds for one of its own. The Hurst family were victims of a 3 alarm fire that destroyed nearly everything they own and upended their lives on Sunday, July 5. Investigators say the fire started from used fireworks in the garage.

Fermin owns the tattoo shop, Tat208 and his wife Bobbi worked at Vogue Beauty College. Now neighbors have shown an outpouring of love and support to this family during their time of need.

Leon Arave is the owner of The Spider's Web Tattoo and Piercing shop on 17th St. He says as soon as he heard the news about Fermin, he got on the phone with other shop owners. He says he wanted to do something big for Fermin as a tattoo family, not as individuals working alone. He knew the other shops would feel the same.

“The tattoo industry around here, we’re a family. We may not always get along with each other, but we’re always a family," Arave said, "When somebody needs help, you take care of your own.”

Fermin has been involved in the tattoo community for a long time and has done a lot for many people. A tattoo artist at The Spider's Web, Aaron Colton said, “We know Fermin’s got enough respect and enough of a reputation where he’d be a part just as much as we would if something was to happen to anybody else.”

All of the participating local tattoo shops are going to donate the proceeds they make from tattoos and piercings on the 18th and 19th to the Hurst family.

There will also be a raffle. Tickets are $10 each and all money earned will be donated to the family. Businesses have donated prizes.  They will give all of that money to Fermin and his family.

Their goal is to help ease the family’s mind so they have more time to heal peacefully.

You can view more information on the Spider's Web official Facebook page HERE.

Jamie Herres is a tattoo artist at Spider's Web. Herres apprenticed under Fermin from 2005-2009. He says after Fermin graduated, he told Herres he would do everything in his power to take Herres with him.

“He gave me an opportunity to do what I do for a living. And that’s how I support my family, raise my children, and everything else," Herres said, "As humble as he is, he would say ‘no, that’s because of you,’ but in all honesty, he’s the one who gave me the opportunity and never gave up on me.” 

Herres said Fermin tried to give him his first tattoo when they were little kids. He says Fermin is very old-fashioned and traditional when it comes to his tattoo work.

“As an apprentice, very tough. There was no cutting corners or doing anything halfway," Herres said, "Everything he wanted you to do, you either did it right or you went home. Period. And he's that way with everything."

Herres says Fermin is from this area, and he was raised by his grandmother.

“I can't even really say he's had a rough life because he's done it so well that no matter what happens to him, he always rises above it," Herres said, "I've seen Fermin struggle, I've seen Bobbi struggle and I've seen them come together. It never fails, they always end up better."

He says Fermin and Bobbi met around 2002. Fermin took Bobbi’s son Brandon in and raised him as his own son. Bobbi's coworkers say the Hurst family are very linked and show a love like no other family, not just to each other, but to everyone they come in contact with.

Bobbi was a student at Vogue Beauty College and Salon. She has been involved there for at least 10 years.

Beauticians at Vogue set up a fundraiser for the Hurt family as well. All proceeds made by students on Saturday, July 18th will go to benefitting the Hurst family. They will also bring in licensed professionals on the 20th to raise funds.

You can view more information on the fundraiser on the Vogue Beauty College and Salon Facebook page HERE.

Halli Kane is Bobbi's friend, employer, and supporter.

"Bobbi and Fermin would give the shirts off their backs. They would help anyone in need, they always have," Kane said, "Their friends are their family. They would do anything for anyone, so we want to do this to give back."

Kane says the Hurst family will likely feel overwhelmed when they accept the donations because they would never do something like this for themselves.

“Bobbi’s been a part of us since the time I can remember, coming in, talking to everybody," Kane said, "She's always just sweet, kind, and always wants everyone to feel welcomed and loved. She's just the sweetest."

Dina Elverud has been Bobbi's friend for 17 years and styling her hair for 12 years. Elverud did Bobbi’s hair before she enrolled as a student.

“She’s fun, she’s happy. Every time I’m with her, she just makes everyone smile and glow," Elverud said, "I met a lot of good friends through her. She brings everyone together”

Nicole Smith is Bobbi’s best friend. She says the Hurst family is very moved by the community support.

“The family really appreciates everything that the community is doing and how they’re all coming together, just showing all of the love and support, because I know they would do the same for anybody out there," Smith said.

Smith went on to say, “The Hurst family is a family that are going through something pretty traumatic. It’s gonna take some recovery time. So just remind people just respect their privacy. And Brandon and Kate are doing good and Bobbi and Fermin, they’re progressing everyday.”

You can view the GoFundMe page established to benefit the family’s recovery HERE.

There are also donation cans at businesses throughout the community to collect money as well.

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Chelsea Briar

Chelsea is a reporter and producer for Local News 8 and KIDK Eyewitness News 3.


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