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A young family from Steinbach whose house caught fire after being struck by lightning is praising the Steinbach Fire Department for its caring work they did in the house before soaking it with water.

On June 29 at about 5:50am, a home on First Street was struck by lightning. Kevin Geisheimer says he was out of the house at a meeting at the time of the strike but adds the thunder woke up his family. He notes it was only later at 7:45am that his oldest son came upstairs and noticed something was not right. "He saw that there was smoke and rain and he said 'well that doesn't make sense' so he quickly ran to our room and told mom that there was smoke outside," explains Geisheimer. He notes his wife then stepped out on the back deck and noticed flames coming out of the attic and called 911.

Geisheimer says what he learned is even though there was a fire in the home, in the attic, it didn't set off the fire alarm because it had not penetrated the ceiling yet. With the fire being towards the rear of the house, He notes the fire department actually took the time to move some of their furniture and belongings to the front of the house and covered it with tarps to prevent it from getting ruined by water.

"The firefighters, first off, I just want to say a huge thank you to them, they were phenomenal. It was so cool to see familiar faces, it makes it feel way more personal like they actually care. They actually moved all the furniture from the back of the house to the front while the fire was going on. They must have been overstaffed I'm not sure but they did that and adjustors came from Winnipeg and said no other fire department ever does that."

Geisheimer explains his wife has a hair salon in their home and adds one of the firefighters even went into the house and brought out a number of his wife's possessions, including some essential files for her business. He shares a short story from that morning.

"A funny story is Mike Penner (Assistant Deputy Fire Chief) asked for the code to get into our salon which is on the back of our garage and I gave him the code and 20 minutes later he comes back and he's like, 'Kevin, that code, I tried it twice. You're going to need a new door.' So it's just little things like that, that they seemed like they cared throughout the process."

The Geisheimers still have a long road ahead in terms of rebuilding their home which suffered a significant amount of water damage but he says the support and the generosity of the community has been overwhelming.


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