Its surprising what is important at Christmas, or any time of year, for that matter.
For Esther Hutzkal the fact that the photographer who took her wedding photos still had them on file was a huge gift.
Hutzkal, her husband Brian and their children recently lost their home and their possessions, including her wedding pictures, to a fire.
A house fire that suddenly takes away one’s home is a horrible occurrence at any time, but, ironically this fire happened a just a few weeks before Christmas.
Esther Hutzkal recalled the turn of events that completely turned her life, and that of her husband and children, upside down.
It started out as an ordinary day, Wednesday, Dec. 5. The children were in school in Bentley and she was on her way to pick up her sister in Sylvan Lake at around 11 a.m. She and her sister enjoyed a leisurely lunch together and then drove to her mobile home on Lockhart Road.
When she opened the door she noticed the fire alarm was sounding and she was greeted by a big cloud of smoke and heat. She immedately called 9-1-1, and called the school to keep her boys until her mother could come and pick them up.
“From the outside everything looked normal,” she said. “You couldn’t tell it was a fire.”
Both Bentley and Eckville fire crews responded and after some investigation it was determined the fire had suffocated itself out.
The heat had caused some of the windows to crack, but due to lack of oxygen, the structure was still standing.
“There was no flames,” she said.
However, due to excessive heat the insurance company has written off both the mobile home and its contents.
In light of the tragedy that has left Brian and Esther Hutzkal and children Kane, 8, Darcy, 10 and Quintin, 11, homeless the community has stepped up to the plate and truly shared the spirit of the holiday season.
“We have amazing neighbours,” said Hutzkal and the community has been amazing. Words can not express our gratitude.”
The family is now living with family east of Gull Lake.
Hutzkal said the children are doing well.
“They have taken it really well. True, there was certain Teddy Bears (that were lost), but, overall, they’ve been great.”
To contribute to a gofundme page set up to help this young family during this dificult time go to https://www.gofundme.com/no-home-for-christmas-hutzkal039s-amp-morton-family
These donations will be used to purchase aides to daily living such as socks, underwear, bras, temporary housing as well as Christmas presents. Donations such asboys clothing size 8, and 10 and men’s size medium. Men’s shirt size medium and pants 32/32/. Women’s size medium and jeans size 7/8 or 9/10.
Monetary donations in the form of prepaid Visa and Walmart gift cards would be appreciated.
Christmas presents; the boys love Star Wars and Lego.
No food at this time, please.
Any donations can be dropped off in Red Deer with Savannah at 48 McGill Street, Red Deer (403-896-1972) or Raina at 11 Crestview Blvd. Sylvan Lake (403-358-8085) For a Bentley drop off contact Catlin at 587-729-1157. An account at the Bentley Credit Union has been created.