A Chemainus family left devastated by a house fire this week is coming to grips with their massive loss and is finding hope in the kindness of others.
When Amanda Gibson, her husband and three kids ran from their burning home Monday they had only the clothes on their backs and no insurance to help them recover.
Just days before Christmas Amanda Gibson and her mother are delicately going through the finds her son has pulled from the rubble of their family home.
“It’s so sad to see him,” said Tammy Gibson, describing her grandson’s effort to save something at their burnt out home on the Stz’uminus First Nation.. “He’s on that pile there digging around. Trying to find something that resembles part of their life living in this home.”
The photographs he’s found in the rubble tell the story of three happy children growing up in their 2-storey home on the Chemainus First Nation until it burned to the ground Monday.
“Yeah no insurance,” said Amanda Gibson, “This was where my children grew up. Lots of family memories, lots of family dinners.”
“It was theirs,” said Amanda’s mother Tammy Gibson. “All they had and it’s gone. It’s just horrifying.”
Yet in the face of their tragedy, the family is overwhelmed at how the community has responded to help. Donating truck loads of housewares, food and the Stz?uminus First Nation has offered a community trailer to be temporary housing until a longer term solution can be found.
“Yes there’s just so many people,” said Tammy Gibson.
“Mmmhmmm,” agreed Amanda Gibson. “Just beautiful people…everything’s going to come in handy for me and my family. It’s wonderful.”
A GoFundMe page has also been set up to help Amanda Gibson and her family financially.
“For everyone that donated stuff to us I thank you,” said Angela Gibson.
“I am so overwhelmed and proud of the love and the caring that people are showing my family,” said Tammy Gibson.
The family has also just gotten bigger, the family dog that was rescued from the fire has just given birth to a squirming litter of puppies.
It Reminded Amanda Gibson of what’s really important this time of year, cherishing the family she still has and memories that have always made her house a home.