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"Built a Home and Watched it Burn"

Almost literally.

Full transparency - I have had this blog post tab open on my laptop for several weeks, unfinished and have been avoiding completing it at all costs. But, I think it’s important that our “followers” (that word is icky), clients and guests know and understand our journey in life and business.

So as you may be wondering, we have been pretty silent about the latest tragedy that hit our family in early January; we were devastated by a house fire and lost everything, including our daughter’s rescue kitten “Buddy”.

If you have been with us for a while, you know that we are not strangers to adverse life events. Discussing traumatic incidents for us is difficult. We tend to retreat, process and work through it. In the case where our home was located on the same property as our business, keeping the tragedy a secret has proven difficult; it seemed like everyone knew before we could even communicate the news to our immediate family (thank you social media, insert eye roll here).

The facts

It was determined that the nature of the house fire was electrical and we were assured that there wasn’t anything that anyone could have done to prevent it from occurring. The team of (mostly volunteer) firefighters were quick to arrive on-site. They attempted to rescue our home and belongings for several hours and although this wasn’t possible, we watched these brave souls continue to run into the fire and persevere despite our house reigniting and engulfing in flames on a few occasions. As well, the fire marshall spent time with us explaining that if this fire had started in the night, our family may have perished with the home due to C02 poisoning and smoke inhalation. These words have resonated with us for some time since the fire and for several weeks afterwards, we couldn’t help replaying all of the worst case “what if” type scenarios.

The message

Though this is a very delayed message, we sincerely want to thank our local community for the donations of clothing and household necessities, toys and support during these difficult times. The toys, educational materials, clothing and kindness and generosity extended to our children in particular, has meant so much to us. To those who donated funds to get us on our feet again (because as you may or may not know, insurance coverage typically takes months to come into effect), your generosity blew us away and still brings us to tears when we reflect on the selflessness and support that we received.

Currently, we are in the process of designing our home with a professional and have contractors on “standby” to get things moving towards rebuilding our home. As with all things construction, it takes time. In the meantime, we are forever grateful to be staying just a few minutes from “home” in a little lake home that a “stranger” selflessly gave up for us to have a temporary home.

You may be wanting to know - “was the barn affected”? And we are happy to report that it was not. A local hydro dispatch team was also quick to arrive on-site and to disconnect any power to our other buildings as a precautionary measure. Our 2023 weddings are proceeding as normal, business as usual (thank god!) and our client’s have been absolutely amazing, understanding and supportive regarding the “slight” change in the property’s curb appeal (for now). Additionally, we continue to strive towards our goals for the property and have many upgrades to discuss with you in an upcoming blog post.

With a final (and most important) closing remark, check your fire detectors and change their batteries at least once a year (our detectors continued to ring for 12 full hours, even completely burned). Seriously, set a reminder on your phone to do this on every 1st of the year and do it. Teach your children about fire safety (i.e. if they cannot get around the fire, how to stay safe in a room and wait for help) and have a family escape plan that everyone understands and can remember. These simple steps might be the difference between life or death.

Heartfelt thank you’s to everyone who has supported us in the last few months.

Kyle, Kait, Rhéa, Demi + Karter

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