Highland Grove firefighters rallied the community to help support a family that lost their home in a blaze, raising more than $2,200 Jan. 18.
The firefighters hosted a breakfast at the Highland Grove Community Centre. Funds raised from the 108 attendees go toward a GoFundMe to support the Hennessey family, whose home was destroyed by the fire Dec. 9.
Between the breakfast and online donations, more than $3,800 has been raised. Ryan Hennessey said it is overwhelming.
“It’s incredible to see how community can pull together when needed. It’s amazing,” he said. “They’ll just go out of their way and help.”
Highlands East Station 2 fire chief Doug Bowen said firefighters wanted to help given the difficulties that come after having a house burn down. He added firefighters from other stations and local businesses contributed as well.
“These people live in our town and we just wanted to give back,” Bowen said. “We wanted to help them out as much as possible because insurance doesn’t cover everything.”
The exact cause of the fire remains unknown, but it was something electrical, Hennessey said. They expect insurance to cover $100,000 for the house and $50,000 for contents – less than the $198,450 mortgage they were paying on.
“Extremely difficult not having a place to call home,” Bobbyjoe Hennessey, Ryan’s wife, said. “You don’t think of how important it is for all of you until it’s all gone.”
The family has had to move to Madoc to stay with relatives. Their family pets, three dogs and a bird, have also been scattered to four different locations, she added.
But the family said the community has really helped them pull through, including the local Lions Club, the Wilberforce Full Gospel Church and food banks.
“We’d like to throw them a benefit dinner,” Ryan Hennessey said. “It’s unreal. Nobody had to do anything for us, and they chose to, and God bless them.”
“I’d just like to thank everybody for turning out and just being supportive,” Bowen said. “That’s what it’s all about.”
The GoFundMe for the family is available at www.gofundme.com/f/hys9ad-please-help-house-fire-victims.