A family of seven in Mirror was not sure where they were going to sleep Tuesday night, let alone how they are going to celebrate Christmas, after their house caught fire Tuesday morning.
Gregor Thiesmann said smoke detectors woke his wife Delailah around 6 a.m. She saw a fire in the kitchen, called 911 and quickly got her five children between the ages of 14 and one month safely out of the house.
Gregor had already been at work at the Messinger Meats Mirror Corp., for about an hour when Delailah called to tell him to rush home.
“I wish it didn’t happen,” he said Tuesday afternoon. “I’m just glad everybody’s safe.”
Delailah and the children, four boys and one girl, were checked for smoke inhalation and then went to rest at a friend’s home.
Gregor returned to his work as a butcher in the afternoon and admitted he was still trying to comprehend that his family lost everything.
Their home on 52nd Street and 52nd Avenue is no longer livable and they had not yet figured out where they’ll stay, he said.
Mirror Fire Chief Kerry Andrew, who was the first on the scene, said the Thiesmann home had extensive fire, smoke and water damage.
“Pretty much all their stuff is smoke damaged and water damaged,” he said. “Not too much will be salvageable.”
The fire was under control in about an hour, Andrew said. He believes it was an electrical fire that started in the kitchen.
Dean Angell, a Mirror firefighter, said a fund is being set up for the Thiesmanns at Alberta Treasury Branch locations across Central Alberta.
An event is also being planned for Thursday night at the Mirror Legion around 6 p.m. All donations will go to the Thiesmanns.
Christmas presents and donations can be dropped off at the General Store and Trowlesworthy Industries in Mirror, Alix Drugs in Alix and at the Lacombe Memorial Centre. Anyone else interested in donating can call Angell at 403-597-2884.
Mirror Mayor Wayne Rider, who is also deputy fire chief and works at Trowlesworthy, said the Legion already donated some toys and numerous people have called to express an interest in making a contribution.
“Let’s make their Christmas a little happier because it sure isn’t now,” he said.
Mirror firefighters are donating $1,000 out of the Fire Department Fund to the family.