WINNIPEG – Manitobans are reaching out to help a family struck by tragedy twice in just a few months.
Jakob Bool’s 19-year-old son Florian was killed in a crash on Highway 52 in November.
Then on Sunday, Jan. 15, his family’s house in Kleefeld burned down.
Bool, his wife, and most of their 13 children were at home on Sunday after church, when someone smelled smoke coming from the attached garage.
“I opened the door and I saw black smoke and I stepped in the garage… I couldn’t see anything and I felt really hot,” he said.
He went back into the house and rushed his family out the door.
“We just ran out from the house and ran to the neighbour in the back without shoes and without everything in the snow,” Bool said.
They lost all of their belongings. Damage is estimated at close to $700,000. They’ve been staying with family and have found a home in Kleefeld to rent.
He said he was looking at what little remains of his family’s home on Monday. He was sad, but grateful that everyone got out safely.
“I (said) thank god, it could be worse. Really worse. It (could have) happened at 3 o’clock at night or something like that, and I don’t know if there (would have been) anybody alive,” he said.
Bool says people in the small community are offering support however they can.
“The people around, they just (are) phoning and asking and it’s just unbelievable,” he said.
He says it reminds him of the support his family received back in November when they suffered their greatest loss.
A GoFundMe page has been set up for the family. On Tuesday morning, it had almost reached its goal. It says clothing and other physical donations can be made at 13 Sterling Drive in Mitchell.
Fire officials are still working to determine the cause.