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Couple grateful for assistance received after losing their home to fire

Saturday, 08 July 2017. Posted in Shootin' the Breeze

Couple grateful for assistance received after losing their home to fire
Brandon Birkmann, left, Matthew Birkmann and Tyler Hay take a break from digging through the remains of the home of Steve Throndson, right, and Jennifer Thomlinson, recently destroyed by fire. The couple were grateful for the help these young men offered without pause. Digging through burned remains of a home is not a pleasant task that many would offer to do. Jennifer and Steve were overwhelmed by the boys’ kindness and by other assistance community members extended in their time of need.   Photo courtesy of Jennifer Thomlinson

Couple grateful for assistance received after losing their home to fire

In the early morning of May 13, our home on Main Street in Pincher Creek burned down. We lost everything, including Raspy, our cat.

But inside every cloud, they say, there’s a silver lining. The kindness and support from many so many good people has been heartwarming. In that way, we have gained much more than we lost.

We dare not try to list those who have helped for fear of missing someone, but we want you all to know that each gesture renewed our hope.

We thank each and every one, from the anonymous people who slipped envelopes under our hotel room door, the young Walmart clerk from Brockett who insisted on giving us every last cent she had on the morning after the fire, the retired rancher who pressed a $100 bill into my hand and would hear no talk of repayment, the neighbour who started a GoFundMe campaign on the Internet, and the neighbour who hugged me so hard that I thought my ribs would surely break.

Our thanks go out to another neighbour who gave us plants from her garden, to friends and strangers who offered kind words and listened to our story, and to the three young men who came to help us dig in the rubble as we tried to recover what personal belongings we could.

Thanks to the friends and family who are gathering recipes to replace the favourites lost to the fire, to those who kept on searching for our cat, to the volunteer firefighters who were roused at 5 in the morning and worked to put out the fire, to the emergency services crew who treated us at the scene, to victim services for finding shelter and clothing when we had none, and to town council for their understanding and help.

The list is so long that we are overwhelmed. The outpouring of kindness has given us a reservoir of hope that we can draw on as we deal with our loss. Pincher Creek came through for us, and we are grateful.

Thank you all.

Jennifer Thomlinson and Steven Throndson

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From the July 5, 2017 print edition of Shootin’ the Breeze.
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In Pincher Creek, call Jessica Jensen at 403-904-2227
or in Crowsnest Pass, call Maureen Bevan at 403-563-9192.
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