Man could lose home months after wife, child die falling through ice

Tuesday, August 15, 2017 01:00AM
Police say a Los Gatos mother and her 8-year-old son are dead after falling through ice and into a frozen pond in Kansas while on a trip to visit relatives.


LOS GATOS, Calif. - A South Bay man who endured a horrific tragedy just months ago is facing a new setback.

RELATED: Los Gatos mom, son die after entire family falls into frozen Kansas pond

Gary Classen's wife Polly and son Trent were killed in a tragic accident in January.

Now, he may lose the home he shared with his family.

"We've had bonfires out here. We've roasted s'mores - it was a place we would dream of retiring," Classen told ABC7 News.

He moved into his Los Gatos home two years ago, but he may be forced to say goodbye to the house that holds so many precious memories of his late wife and son.

The county got wind of a rental unit on the bottom floor, apparently built without permits decades ago, which means Classen will likely be prohibited from renting it out - a loss of income that covers most of his mortgage.

"I would need to sell. I'd have to move out and I'd have to leave the home that my family, my wife, and my son loved and that I love," Classen said.

Classen, his wife, and his 8-year-old son were playing on a frozen pond when they fell through the thin ice. He says what's helped him cope has been the serenity of his mountain home and the emotional support from his tenants -- who are now busy packing in case they have to move.

"I think we kind of know the pain he's been through the most I mean we're right here and I worry about him being alone," said tenant and friend Christina Temple.

It's unclear how the county learned about the property. Usually, it's someone from the public who calls it in.

If so, Classen says he harbors no resentment.

He's waiting to hear from the county about what his options are.

"I know there will be a future, and that I'm in good hands. I'll be OK," he said.
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