My Friend’s House Burned Down Today

Today was not a good day.  My neighbor and friend Dan’s house burned down this morning.  It is a total loss.  He was at work when it happened.

We spent the entire day salvaging what we could of his belongings, but everything is all covered in soot and smells terrible.  Dan’s cat also passed in the fire.

The Fire Department found the source to be a bad wire coming in from the main power.  It heated up and popped up fires in several places throughout the house.  It blew several circuit breakers.

When something like this happens, you see the goodness in people.  I wanted to mention several of them here because they have no idea how helpful they were today.  These are in no particular order:

Dave Kelewae – Dave has already set Dan up with a new place to stay.  He has all the utilities on and ready.  We were able to move things right over there immediately.

Jim Waddum –  Jim packed up stuff, carried stuff and made several trips with his pickup truck as we tried to salvage some of Dan’s things.  Jim also took care of the cat’s body so Dan didn’t have to try to do that too.  As we left, Jim also noticed that the gas was still on, so he shut off the main so there were no further risks (as the neighbor, I’m thankful for that).

Justin Toenges – Justin worked his butt off carrying heavy boxes up the 20+ stairs of the new place.  He was there packing, loading and moving all the boxes that we got out.  Thank God he came over as there was so much work to do.

Patricia Sapp – Trish was there all day packing things up in the destroyed and filthy house.  She helped us load up all of the stuff that needed to be moved.  Trish is always a hard worker and I am not sure that we always let her know how much she is appreciated.

Brandy Mcelwrath – Brandy also came down and worked very hard packing and loading stuff out of the house.  She is very kind and gentle.  She brought that spirit down with her and helped us all out so much.

U Haul – The guys at U Haul (Dan’s employer) were great.  They made sure we had as many boxes, tape and moving supplies as we needed at no charge.  This afternoon they called to let him know that they are going to do something for him to get him back on his feet.

Bill and Debbie Campbell – Bill and Debbie run the Church of God at Baden Food Pantry.  They were able to quickly get Dan enough food for about a week so that he didn’t have to worry about that.

The Red Cross – We called the Red Cross and they came out and brought a debit card for Dan that allowed him purchase some basic clothing, bathroom stuff and kitchen stuff.

These people and more rallied around Dan through this day.  Many others have offered to assist as well.  For example, Pastor Don gave Dan his coat because all Dan had left was the U Haul uniform that he was wearing.  It really is amazing how people come together in these things.

Today is a stark, cold lesson that our lives can change in an instant.  Everything we spend a lifetime accumulating can be dust and soot in a flash.

I know that God has been dealing with me a lot lately about remembering the bigger picture.  He is the bigger picture not material things.  It is His will and His path that we need to long for.  We need to draw nearer and nearer unto Him and remember that our body and this whole world is just a step along the way to eternity with God.

Please keep Dan in your thoughts and prayers.

peace,
rick mester

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