Normally, Trevor Honigman is on the receiving end of gracious and grateful thank yous.
A member of Vernon Search and Rescue, Honigman has helped many people out of sticky situations. Now, it’s Honigman and his wife, Terri, heaping praise upon the community after the pair were forced out of their new-to-them Vernon home by fire on Dec. 5.
Honigman and his wife had been at work that Thursday morning when each received a call the double-wide modular home they’d been renovating off of Elmwood Road in the BX, and had spent just three nights in, had caught fire.
“My first reaction (on the scene) was shock. You’re never ready for a crisis to hit you in the face. It was difficult to take it all in,” Honigman said. “You think of what you need to do as the pros are there doing their jobs, you have to take care of your family.”
The family cat was rescued from the burning home by a member of the BX Swan Lake Fire Department but did not survive.
Since the fire, Honigman has stopped counting the number of offers he’s had for help.
“I stopped at 25 — the people who have asked how they can help,” he said. “There must have been 30 to 35 people who have told us they have a room or a home with a suite in it.”
Help started the morning of the fire while the home was still burning.
“The BX Swan Lake Fire Department, Canadian Red Cross Emergency Services, Emmanuel Baptist Church, the (North Okanagan) Gleaners and Vernon Search and Rescue all offered to help,” Honigman said. “Vernon RONA, O.R. Sports were helping us get into the house before the fire and they’re still there helping us.”
Honigman is waiting for insurance assessments before deciding what he and Terri will do in terms of renovating the fire-damaged structure or demolishing and rebuilding for scratch.
A fellow VSAR member started a GoFundMe page for Honigman which had reached $4,510 Tuesday afternoon of a goal of $10,000.
“We would like to thank all of the people who have helped and their offers to help us. People we don’t even know have been offering to help, it’s been amazing,” said an extremely grateful Honigman. “We are very thankful.”