Dear church family.
We are humbled today by your outpouring of love in response to our house fire this morning. I can’t thank you enough and tell you how overwhelmed we are by the number of people who contacted us with offers, love, and support. Let me give you a brief update to let you know that it is not a complete loss. We are extremely lucky that the fire was seen and put out in time to save the house. Our old floor furnace malfunctioned and somehow caused a fire under the floorboards of the house. The Eustis FD was incredible and extinguished and contained it in time to save the house. The furnace of course is destroyed and most of the downstairs floors were ripped open in order to extinguish the fire underneath. That means we can’t live there until the furnace is replaced - or the cold snap ends! But we’ve got lodging for the weekend and numerous offers for long-term rooms if needed during reconstruction. We will meet with insurance adjuster and contractor Monday to see exactly what it will take to make it livable again.
The cat is housed for now, but if anyone who does not have pets would like to take her for the next 2 weeks and give her some loving, she would love it. A good friend has opened up a room for her, but is keeping her separate from their cats and dog since she is old and fragile. She is deaf and skinny but just likes to cuddle in a warm lap and sleep, so if you’d like to cuddle with her, it would relieve me to know she is not stressed.
In the meantime, may I just share how blessed we were with guardian angels today? If this fire had blossomed during the night, we would have been scrambling in the cold night to evacuate. Or, if it had happened just 10 minutes later after we had all left the house, it would have continued unchecked and taken the whole house. Or, if it hadn’t been Mikeala’s birthday with her and her sister getting up early to spend a day at Disney with a friend who works there, then they would have still been upstairs sleeping after we left for work, with only smoke detectors to warn them. So many things lined up today making it possible for us all to escape unharmed and the house to be saved. There are many more families facing more devastating tragedies, in our community and all over. The fire chief said they had 5 house fires yesterday from heaters or fireplaces! I can’t help but wonder if their homes were destroyed and if they have warm places to stay tonight.
So thank you all for your loving concern, and please join me in praising God that our situation isn’t as bad as it could have been!!
With love and gratitude,
Renee and Gary Isabelle