Letter to the Pilot

Monday, November 25, 2002

Forever thankful


This year Thanksgiving has renewed meaning for us. Approximately four weeks ago, our home was destroyed by fire. The shock and sadness we feel has been immense.

However, the events that occurred after the call to 911 are something for which we will forever be thankful.

The Storm Lake and Alta Fire Departments responded immediately. They were very professional and considerate while efficiently controlling the fire and keeping everyone out of harm's way. When they felt it was safe to enter the home to retrieve personal items, they were very empathetic of our feelings and needs. Our sincere thanks go out to all who helped fight the fire, those who waited to see if backup would be required and to a special fireman who thought to give us the opportunity to save those irreplaceable items. Our losses could have been so much greater if not for the actions of both well-trained fire departments and their joint effort.

And we will forever be grateful for the compassionate and courageous acts of our neighbors that day. Their selflessness in helping us save our family dog and so many of our photos, personal items and keepsakes was truly remarkable; their caring and concern was incredible. Anyone and everyone able to help came from their homes with hoses, coats, gloves, boots - whatever they could offer to assist us in the initial minutes. When briefly allowed inside, they carried armloads of our possessions to shelter. Again, the firemen kept everyone's safety foremost, but allowed friends to help as only friends could do.

We have been overwhelmed with the kindness and offerings of so many who reached out to help. For those who opened their homes, loaned clothing, brought food, offered vehicles, gave certificates and gifts, comforting words, stayed close for support, offered assistance, helped so much in the clean-up or had us in your thoughts and prayers we are so very appreciative.

On Thanksgiving Day, and every day, we will celebrate family, friends, volunteers and professionals for whom we are so extremely thankful.

Tom and Donna Burback,

Lake Creek