Monday, September 3, 2012

Sad news for Sheila and Family

 



Just want to give you a heads up that this will be a long post today.

I have some sad news for those of you who don't already know. First thing to share is that everyone is okay. But sadly Sheila, Mike, Hunter, Hannah and Lucky the cat's home caught on fire Friday night and it was quickly consumed by flames. Within minutes they had lost everything. 

It started in the Pool shed right beside the house in the pool heater. Sheila had just arrived home and was watching the news when she heard what she thought sounded like hail hitting the house. When she went outside to investigate she thought it was strange that the water in the pool was still. Confused she turned to the side of the house where she had heard the noise to see flames on her roof. She went inside and grabbed the phone to call 911 but the phone died in her hands. She grabbed her purse and went outside calling for help. Her neighbours were already running to her from all directions and letting her know they called. She ran back into the house to make sure that her daughter wasn't sleeping in her room and to look for the family cat. After making sure Hunter was not there and a quick look for the cat she ran back out.  She then tried to enter the house one last time to look for their beloved cat and thankfully her neighbour Al held Sheila and refused to let her go. 

Al- we all owe you huge hugs and kisses for saving her from going back in. What she didn't realize is that the entire roof was now on fire and the garage roof was already collapsing. Thankfully no one else was home at the time. 

I need to say this again- Al- thank you from all of us as for saving our beloved Sheila. 

Myself, Lori, Kim and Sarah were with Sheila and her family through that long night and we were amazed by the community spirit of generosity and kindness that was already kicked into high gear that night and is still ongoing. Thank you to all of you. So very very much. 

Two days later the house caught on fire again by a spark that the water hadn't got and was smoldering through the weekend. Sheila and Mike got a call that their house was on fire again - an 'umber fire'. And they had to go watch their house burn again. 

In the middle of this terrible tragedy there were a few miracles. 

-Lucky the cat was missing for hours and Sheila knew that she was still inside the house. The cat was 14 years old and scared so she likely went to the basement and hid when all the commotion started. Sheila asked for news of Lucky all through the night and kept getting told that the chances were slim to none. She was heartbroken. Then 6 hours after the fire had started there was shouting and the news that Lucky had been found spread quickly. A firefighter who was also a cat owner refused to stop looking for her and checked the flooded basement in all the spots he thought his cat would look and low and behold he found her behind a couch. This was the news that first brought them some comfort and I still get emotional remembering watching Sheila take off running towards the house and coming back with Lucky clutched in her arms. 


-Outside of asking about Lucky, Sheila also kept mourning the loss of her children's special stuffed animals they were given at birth. Hannah's was a stuffed snowman called Snowgirl and Hunter's were a bear and some monkeys. All have been found and cleaned up as good as new by caring neighbours. They were surprised to find them coated in soot but otherwise still in one piece!!!

- Sheila is always cold and when we have travelled anywhere she dragged around this beloved blanket of hers that she would snuggle in. I still remember watching her curl up in it and sleep in airports while Kim and I watched her snore lol. I would call her Linus from the Peanuts cartoon as she brought it everywhere when away from home. Kim mentioned that she wanted to find a blanket for Sheila to replace the one that would have been destroyed. I remembered that I actually had one that was similar and quickly washed and dried it up for her. When I brought it to her she started crying and holding it around her like a warm hug. Turns out it was exactly like hers. So glad we could give her back her 'security' item. 

-When Mike was asked what was one thing that he was hoping would be found he said that seeing his girls all have their one beloved item back in their arms was all that he needed. Seriously- my heart melted once again. That and their family photos and videos which were also found on a backup drive that looked to be untouched on the first night. 

God bless those small miracles that help people heal during these times. 

Many of you  have asked how can you help. Help is needed and appreciated so thank you to those of you who can. 
  • The Optimist club in their town is in the process of getting a Trust Account set up for those who wish to donate some financial assistance. When we have the information we will share it here as well as on our SGD Facebook page. 
  • As well we have noted their clothing sizes on facebook as well. Some clothes have already started arriving and some back to school items to get the girls ready for their first day of school tomorrow. 
  • Items for donation can be dropped off at the store and one of the SGD Divas will help you with it when you arrive. 
  • Scrappingreatdeals is still open for business! You will see the Divas posting classes, Toonie Tuesdays, Product Talk Wednesdays and we will also Freaky Fridays with Karan starting in September too! Come and join us whenever you can and we will have fun and keep the store rocking!! Please be patient with us as we learn the ropes and roll up our sleeves to pitch in and keep things running smoothly while Sheila and Mike get things in place for their family for the next few months. 

I could keep going on and on. In fact I have already deleted huge parts of this post to try and keep it somewhat under control. 

I will leave you with this. Mike and Sheila are so grateful that no one was hurt. Things can be bought and replaced but people can't. Remember to always show those you love how you feel. 

And I also have to share this. After Lucky suffered for a few days after the fire she has now started eating, drinking and peeing which are all amazing news! She is now resting and healing with her family. She never used to let Sheila pet or hold her and now they are bonded together and cuddle all the time. Here is a picture Sheila sent me tonight of Princess Lucky finally looking healthy and rested today. 

Sheila, Mike and family want to thank everyone for all the love and support they are being shown. 

Sheila and family- we love you. 

31 comments:

  1. Andrea, this post is very well written...we are all very grateful for the family to be safe and sound and together. I will be there to help in any way I can...I already have offers from friends and family and will be gathering things up this week to drop off. Thank you all for being there for Sheila and her family...my love and thoughts are with them. TTYS, love Carol
    xoxo

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  2. Wow....soooo glad everyone made it out safe and sound! A HUGE hug to the neighbour who held her back from going back for Lucy and a HUGE hug to the fire fighter who found Lucy! A very well written post and may things fall into place quickly for them so they can move forward.

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  3. It's just not right that something so terrible could happen to such good people. So happy that no one was hurt. Hugs and prayers.

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  4. I am sitting here in tears - this is the first I've heard of the fire(s), and I am SO thankful that Sheila was held back from going back into the fire and even more thankful that the firefighter found Lucky.
    I'll be watching the FB page to see how I can help.
    Sending the family thoughts of peace.

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  5. Soooo thankful everyone is okay..and thankful Sheila was held back. Sending warm wishes and watching FB...

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  6. Thanks for letting us know how everyone is doing Andrea!!! Thanks to Al for keeping Sheila safe!! Sending hugs!!!!

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  7. I'm so glad everyone is safe. Thank goodness her neighbour didn't let her go back in; and I'm so glad the firefighter was able to find Lucky. Sending hugs and prayers.

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  8. I am in total disbelief! This is the first i have heard of it as my family and i were out of town. Thoughts and prayers out to Sheila, Mike and their family.

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  9. I too am in total shock. Sheila and her family are incredible people. I'm so grateful to their neighbour and the firefighter for their assistance. I will keep everyone in my prayers and will be figuring out a way to help.Sending much love to all. xoxo

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  10. Wow what a shock to see the photo and read this story. Andrea thank you so much for a well written account and, like others have said, Al and the fireman are heroes. Lucky has the perfect name! I'm so happy all the girls were able to have a special keepsake saved and Mike has his girls. I will follow this post to see where I can help. God bless everyone.

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  11. Wow -- praise God for the safety of Sheila, Mike and all the kids. So glad to hear that Lucky was found also. What devastating news. My prayers will continue to be with them all.

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  12. Thanks for the updates Andrea. My heart breaks for Sheila and family but the small miracles you mentioned I'm sure will help in the coming days. Love to all. Sue Strybosch

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  13. Thank you for the update. I am sorry that Sheila's family has lost their home, and thankful that no one was hurt. Her family is in my prayers.

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  14. OMGosh I'm so shocked by this news and those pictures. So much lost but the important stuff remains. Glad you are all okay and happy that Lucky made it through as well.

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  15. Wow so very scary. I am so glad the whole family is safe. Sending lots of positive thoughts to such a wonderful family.

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  16. Such a shocker - my heart is breaking for them! At the end of the day, they got out with the things that could never be replaced - each other and I'm sure for that, they are eternally grateful. Keeping them in my prayers!

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  17. Sorry to hear of the terrible fire that consumed your home Sheila. My prayers and thoughts go out to you during this sad time. Very glad to hear that everyone, including Lucky is safe.

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  18. Sheila...my heart goes out to you and your family...I was in total shock when I saw the pictures. Many prayers going up for you and your family's healing and for getting your lives back to some kind of normal again.

    Andrea...thank you so much for sharing with us.

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  19. My thoughts and prayers are with Sheila and her family at this challenging time. May the love, support and caring of all of us sustain them as they work to re-establish their lives.

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  20. Oh no! What a scary time! Thank goodness everyone is safe! My thought s and prayers are with them all!

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  21. O-M-G!BIG HUGE hugs for Sheila and her family and the cat!! Things can replaced and memories will stay with you forever but people can't be replaced. Thank goodness everyone is safe. My heart goes out to all of them.

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  22. Unbelievable! My thoughts and prayers are with Sheila and her family. So thankful to hear that everyone is safe and sound.

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  23. I am so sorry to hear of the loss of you home. But very relieved to hear that everyone is alive and safe. I send all my best thoughts and wishes to Sheila, her family and Lucky :)

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  24. Sending HUGE hugs to Sheila and her loved ones and hoping that the memories of this terrible event will fade quickly. You are all in my thoughts and prayers .... ~B~

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  25. Hello everyone. I have an update regarding donations to the family. It's difficult to set up an actual trust account, so instead cash donations are being accepted at the Country Hearth Restaurant in Komoka and at the corn stand between Kilworth and Komoka. Possibly the Komoka Post Office too, just working out the details. Donations will be collected every few days and converted into a cheque that will be given to Mike and Sheila. Of course, you can also donate at SGD. So please, if you live in the area drop off a donation to help them through this difficult time. Thanks!

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  26. just want to say that many of out here are holding you and your family in our hearts...........you have servived.......and you are a trooper. Hold your hubby, children and kitty close.....they are the most important thing in your life...........our best wishes to building a new future,

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  27. OMG.. I just read this sad post, my thoughts and prayers are with you Sheila, and family. Relieved to read that every one is safe and sound. Sending hugs & love from Montreal.

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  28. My thoughts and prayers go out to Sheila and her family. I live in B.C. and just a few days ago I commented in a meassage to Sheila that I wished I lived closer (to be able to shop in person for the Scrappin' Great Deals...) and now I just want to be there to give Sheila hugs and to help with efforts to help the family get back on their feet. BIG hugs to Sheila and family and thank you so much to Andrea and staff for the communication and support.

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  29. Tragedy, I am glad there were a few miracles. I took would have run back for my cats. Glad a neighbour knew better and thankful the fire-fighter understood that pets are family too. To lose everything in a such a way is terrible, but that everyone is okay is most important.

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  30. I AM SO GLAD THE WHOLE FAMILY AND LUCKY GOT OUT ALIVE, IT'S TRUE COULDN'T ASK FOR A NICER FAMILY WHY DOES TRAGEDY STRIKE. THEY WILL THINK OF NEW BEGINNINGS AND NEW CHALLENGES. GOD BLESS THEIR NEIGHBOURS, FAMILY AND FRIENDS.

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