I've established this donation website for those of you who are looking for an appropriate way to help out our friend and colleague Casey Beene who has lost his house to fire. It is completely voluntary, but know that your contributions will go directly to support the Beene family during their time of need. During this challenging time, I feel that it is best to hear from Casey himself.
Thanks for your consideration! Please see below...
An update. We lost our home in Steilacoom, Washington, to a fire on the evening of 20 November 2013. It destroyed much of the home; that which was not burned was heavily damaged by smoke and heat. Cheryl and Connor lost nearly all their possessions, as the fire, once it moved up from the basement, seemed to concentrate on their bedrooms. We are not yet certain of the exact cause; it was likely electrical in nature, and may have been caused when the city, while working on water/sewer pipes in our neighborhood, had a 'malfunction' and caused significant flooding to our home and others three days earlier. We did lose two of our cats and Connor's pet lizard, but the remainder of our 'zoo' survived. Cheryl and Connor had been out and about that afternoon, and returned that evening to find the house in flames. We believe that the house will be a 100% loss; it looks like we have a long road ahead of us in terms of recovery and rebuilding.So . . . what are we thankful for?
. . . First and foremost, that no one, not family, friends, nor first responders, were injured during what Connor now refers to as the 'incident'.
. . . oldest daughter Katie, who arrived at the house after following the fire engines across town. She became Florence Nightingale to the cats, keeping them calm and giving CPR to the ones who needed it. She also stumbled upon Connor's cat in the house more than 24 hours after the fire, ensuring another life was saved. And her daughter Maile (6 yo), who worked hard to cheer up her Nana under very difficult circumstances.
. . . oldest son Ryan and his wife April, who flew down almost immediately from Anchorage, Alaska, in order to help stabilize the situation. And of course their son Keegan (2 yo), who provided much comic relief to all of us.
. . . son Dylan and his wife Britannee. Dylan's a firefighter with an adjacent fire department, and was able to assist the responding department as well as help with information and other issues during the fire. He and Brit willingly gave up their home for us to use as a family meeting place, as well as a place for our two golden retrievers to stay. Their son Greyson (1 yo) used his animal impressions to keep us in high spirits.
. . . daughter Megan, who took Connor under her wing, keeping him with her throughout that first night. She also went full 'honey badger' on Madigan Army Medical Center when they were hesitant about replacing the prescription medications that were lost in the fire. She has been with us nearly every day, helping work through the various issues that arise on a nearly constant basis.
. . . the Williamson family. John, Karin, and rest of their family (Michael, Rosie, Anna, Emily & Summer) are our neighbors across the street. They immediately took Cheryl and Connor in, and provided them/us a place to stay and try to recover for the week after the fire. We sincerely do not know what we would have done without them. We hope they survive and recover from our 'invasion', and will be forever thankful for their friendship and kindness.
. . . and finally, all the friends we have (and/or didn't know we had), both at home and abroad, the first responders, the staff at the emergency vet clinic, and countless others who have offered us help as well as hope during this difficult time.
Thanks to all for your kind thoughts and help. It may take awhile, but we will recover.
Casey, Cheryl, & Connor