Memories of our Fire Feb. 28, 2016

I can’t believe that 3 years have gone by since our trailer fire. So much has happened in the last 3 years and they have flown by. But we can say with confidence that our Father in Heaven has been with us each step of the way. These memories are not pleasant but there were many blessings in the months following the fire.

I woke up that morning to people stirring around and talking. I heard something about a fire and my heart sank. I burst into tears knowing what was in store for us. Mommy, Daddy, and Pearl came in and we cried together. You see just 10 years earlier to almost the day our house burned in Mongolia. We knew what was like to clean up and go through ashes. Also Mommy had almost stayed home that weekend and would have been in the bedroom that the fire started in and we were so thankful that we were all together and safe. We all gathered around the kitchen in Uncle Fain’s house. “Our family traveled down to Uncle Fain’s house in Mifflinburg on Saturday evening to stay for the weekend. We often go down there to attend church there in Millmont, then get together with Uncle Fain’s family to practice our bell songs in the evening.”

I was so glad that we were with Uncle Fain’s. They are our closest family members and it was so comforting to be with them. Much talk went on that morning and since there really wasn’t any point in missing church (the fire was already put out) we prepared for church. I will always remember that church service. I couldn’t stop the tears…. but is was so comforting to be with a church family who rallied round us and supported us.

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As we were in a hurry to get  up to the scene we ate lunch on the way. All 13 of us drove up together to view the damage and to see if anything could be salvaged. Except for all my things (I was in nursing school at the time and living with Uncle Fain’s) basically everything we owned was in that house…. including many valuables and photo albums, keepsakes and books. This picture is the first sight of the fire damaged home. I remember the feeling of dread as we turned the corner and at first all we could see was fire trucks, firemen and just the peak of the house. We didn’t know what we would find and how much was  actually lost.

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The fire chief talking about what had happened and what they thought caused the fire.   
“The Fire Marshall determined that the fire started in Mommy and Daddy’s bedroom. There was a little electric space heater plugged into the outlet, but it was shut off. Apparently, even though it was shut off, it somehow shorted out, and started the fire. One of the firemen showed us the wires with little blisters on the copper that confirmed his suspicions about the source of the fire.”

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David can always bring a smile to your face no matter what the circumstance. He was trying to get music out of the piano. It wasn’t that burnt was it?

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We girls room was at the opposite end from the fire. Because the firemen didn’t know if anyone was home they broke in our window and did a sweep of the house to make sure nothing alive was  in the house.

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Pearl and Candace covered their clothes with old dresses to help keep the smoke smell from permeating their clothes. Trying to salvage anything that could be saved.

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They still had smiles. Tasha and I couldn’t stay to help because of school. But several of Uncle Fain’s stayed to help.

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Much improved from the last picture. 🙂

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Uncle Fain saw Pearl’s violin and wanted to try his hand at saving it because we didn’t have much hope. But as you can see he did a good job at refurbishing it.

“We are so blessed to have as much as we do! I was certainly encouraged at all that we were able to rescue! God allowed some of the most important things (to us) to be in locations that somehow managed to protect them enough to be recovered. Like important documents, photo albums, money, hardrives etc. We still have much more than many people in the world do, and some of it isn’t even necessary to our existence, (like cameras and laptops)! We have a roof above our heads (and offers for 2 or 3 more if we didn’t)! We have enough food stored in un-burned locations to keep us going for a very long time, and we are all in fairly good health.”

God was so gracious and merciful to us and we are so grateful. Family, friends and neighbors we didn’t even know all pitched in to help us out. We are blessed beyond measure and now we have a beautiful place to live, an upgrade for sure from the trailer, and only half a mile away from Uncle Fain’s. God provided abundantly more than we lost in the fire. Of course the keepsakes and photos were not able to be replaced but we have each other and that is what matters most.

So many memories flooded back when I am writing this. I don’t like reliving times like that but it reminds me of God’s mercy, love and also the wonderful support family, and friends are.  Thank you to you all who made that time easier for us. We are very grateful for the love and support.

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