A family who lost their entire home to a fire on Friday, April 8, said while the experience has been overwhelming so has the support they’ve received.
“I keep saying that if you ever want your faith in humanity restored, or need to know just how wonderful our city is, just lose everything you own in a house fire in Williams Lake,” Monica Altwasser said. “I’m not kidding.”
Monica and her husband, Mike, moved to manage and operate the Fraser River Ranch in 2007 and live there with their children Jackson and Kate.
On Friday evening the fire broke out, burning their home completely in 28 minutes.
By Wednesday evening Monica had nothing but praise for their friends, staff and emergency crews who acted so quickly to help them.
“From our best friends being on scene as they were coming out for dinner, to our incredible staff and friends the Loring families, Hugh and Shelly, Greg and Marcella, we wouldn’t have made it though that disaster whole, if it wasn’t for them being there to help us,” she said.
Some friends fought the fire and helped recover what they could from the house, while others found hoses and phoned in support before cooking up a feast to feed everyone.
The family spent the night with Mike and Deanne Rife, who brought them into their home and the next day Dave and Taryn Carnes arrived with work clothes for Mike and even helped the Altwassers pull a breech calf.
Monica said financial and emotional support has come from the community and friends all over the country, and even from as far away as Australia.
“It has taken us from the lowest point of our lives to seeing the light in our future … we are so incredibly blessed.”