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After beloved Owensville, Missouri, man loses home to fire, town rallies to build him a new one

On Monday, two local banks started collecting donations. By Thursday, they'd raised $16,000

OWENSVILLE, Mo. — Nearly 3,000 people live in Owensville, Missouri, and it seems pretty much all of them know Geek.

"Put it this way, I have got more friends than I have enemies," said Ronnie "Geek" Geisler.

Ask around town and it's easy to see why.

"Three hundred sixty-five days of the year, he's out helping everybody," said Owensville Police Chief Robert Rickerd. "Shoveling snow, cutting grass, hauling off wood."

But Saturday, word spread that Geek was the one who needed help.

A grease fire that started in the kitchen destroyed his home.

Rickerd said that he received "around 100 phone calls in two days, asking 'Hey chief, the city needs to step up. We need to get something going.'"

On Monday, two local banks started collecting donations.

By Thursday, they'd raised $16,000.

"Surprised? No. Not at all," said Dr. Roger Stewart. He said the reason people are stepping up is simple.

"He is just what we should all be," Stewart said.

That's why Stewart invited Geek to stay in the apartment above his practice, while he designs Geek's new house.

"This whole structure is coming together within days," Stewart said.

Some businesses are providing materials and labor at cost -- others, for free. 

"All the windows were donated within two and a half hours," Stewart said. "The electrical was donated."

All for a man who lives his life for them.

"They said, 'You help the community, now let the community help you," Geek said. "It makes you feel like a king."

The town hopes to have the burned house demolished by next week. They plan to have the new house built in just a few months.

If you’d like to support Geek, two banks -- Owensville Legends Bank and Owensville Regions Bank -- are collecting donations. Just ask for the Ronnie “Geek” Geisler fund.

Legends Bank: 573-437-2122 

Regions Bank: 800-734-4667

Some photos used in this report courtesy of Dennis Warden, Publisher/Gasconade County Republican.

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