Kopplin Family Fire Fund
In Pete's own words:
This morning at around 1 we were awoken by our car alarm going off in the garage. I went out to turn it off and it wouldn't shut off. As I approached the car to try to figure out the problem I spotted smoke billowing into the passenger side of the cabin from the engine bay. I ran to wake up my family, and then returned to the garage to open the drive door. At this point the car had burst into flames. I thought about trying to remove the Jeep but it wasn't safe. I ran inside to get the family and the dog out of the house and Becky was already on the phone with 911.
Our main entrance borders the garage, so that wasn't a safe exit either. We were forced out back through our daylight basement, into the waist deep snow. We were barefoot. We were unprepared for the cold and snow. But we were together. We began to hear sirens after just a few minutes, and after about 15 minutes-all the while watching the flames get higher and higher-we heard firefighters calling for us. They escorted us safely past the now fully-engulfed garage to an ambulance. As we sat in the ambulance, trying to regain feeling in our hands and feet, I think all of us were in a state of shock.
The firefighters left the house this morning around 9:30, still smoldering. Contractors and my dad Herman Kopplin, and my amazing insurance guy Mike Helring met me there to assess the damage, which was vast. While the fire was largely contained to the garage, every piece of drywall, flooring, cabinet, counter top, furniture, fixture and appliance is now worthless and in need of replacement due to smoke (or water damage, caused by the new holes cut through the roof to save the building.) Some fire ventured into the basement stair area and the master bathroom. But everything is destroyed, even if not by fire.
We are safe. We are fine. We are ok. We are laughing and joking and crying. And we smell like camping, which brings a strange negative light to many childhood memories around the fire. But we are overwhelmed with offers for help and prayers and we need both. They think we will be able to move back in sometime 8-12 months from now. We can hardly wait.
We trust that God is wholly in this. It's a strange feeling to lose so much, but to feel like we have so much to be thankful for that we have basically lost nothing. Cars and clothes and material things pass away. And while we may have lost some pictures and some memorable things, we still have each other to make new memories with. Only God is eternal, and He is eternally faithful. We are truly blessed, and I believe God has more blessings in store through this unexpected event for me, my family, and for our church!
Hug your families and friends and tell them you love them, and thank God for them. Thank you all for your prayers and support. We love you all and we are blessed by the relationships we have with each of you.
Pete, Becky, Timothy and Ethan
They even made the news!
Please consider donating to help the Kopplin family with both immediate and future needs as they start the process of rebuilding their home and hearts.