A couple from Marchand who lost their home to a fire just one week ago have found the strength to be thankful.
“We’re thankful we’re alive, we’re thankful we’re together, and, we’re thankful for everything we’ve recently been given.”
Sharon Chabot and her husband Billy were out doing yard work last Saturday when a malfunctioning power bar set their home on fire. Most of their house, and nearly everything inside, was reduced to ashes and, because of a complication with their insurance, none of it was covered.
“Our broker called us in July to tell us our premiums would be tripling. She encouraged us to cancel it and we agreed with her,” explains Billy of their financially precarious situation. “She said we would have other insurance in place by the time it cancelled itself out, but we didn’t. The insurance company we were dealing with dropped the ball.”
The Chabots’ home was fully insured right up until September 24; less than two weeks from when it burnt to the ground. To watch a lifetime of memories be devoured by flames only to find out they had no financial means of recuperating has been tough. Chabot says it has been perhaps the hardest week of her life. Yet in the midst of that desolation, the couple is still able to say “thanks” because of the generosity of friends, family, and complete strangers.
“We’ve been given clothes, dishes, groceries, and toiletries; we’ve had all kinds of food dropped off; we have a home to live in until we can rebuild; we have furniture coming in to help us furnish the place. I really don’t think there is anything we need,” says Chabot, fighting back tears. “It’s an amazing feeling.”
She continues. “My husband is a very proud man and I don’t know if my girls have ever seen him weep before. But now, every time somebody hands us a card or comes to give us a hug or offers their help he breaks. I have never seen him so emotional.”
Though they are living right now in a rental property temporarily donated by Billy’s brother, Chabot says they still hosted a full-fledged Thanksgiving turkey dinner for her family Sunday evening. Not even a house fire could prevent that.
“It might not have been as pretty and well set up as I had hoped, but it’s our tradition, so that’s what we did,” she says.
While thankful for the assistance they received immediately following the fire, the Chabots are humbly prepared to ask for more. They plan on rebuilding their house outward from the master bedroom, the only room that was not destroyed in the blaze. To do that with no insurance on the salary of two school bus drivers will be admittedly challenging.
“We will definitely be needing help whether it be volunteering to help build or providing material, or lending us tools, as my husband has lost all of his.”
Anyone interested in offering financial support as the couple makes preparations for their future is invited to donate on The Chabots Gofundme page.