In the aftermath of the Sunday
fire (previously reported)
that burned down Jesse Ballard's house, Basin Reboot reached out to the
Ballards for a followup. What we found was a heartwarming local Christmas
story that spoke of joy in the midst of tragedy, gratitude and community.
That joy is written on Charlotte's (Jesse's 5 year old daughter) face as
she recounts yesterday's events. "I was so happy, I jumped all over the bed
so much that it broke the heal of my boot!" explained Charlotte as she
recounted entering their temporary home--a hotel room at the Super 8
Motel--yesterday. To Charlotte and Jesse's surprise, there was a lit up and
fully decorated Christmas tree with a pile of wrapped presents.
[image: Inline image 1]
She hurriedly asked her dad if she could open them. "She got to open just a
few," said Jesse. Charlotte chimed in, "Kitty got nothing!" "Kitty" is
Charlotte's cat Seven (below). There was a Christmas tree, money, dry
cleaning, wrapped present's and even the hotel room which had all been
donated to the Ballard's from mostly anonymous and generous local people.
Jesse was overwhelmed, "I'm not usually into the whole Christmas thing, but
I can't deny that the generosity of this fantastic community has put me
totally into the Christmas spirit. To see Charlotte this happy is
Jesse's cousin Robyn Beadles was quick in offering assistance to the little
family and she played a big part in organizing the donations, but many
others were involved.
When we ask Charlotte what she remembers about the Sunday night tragedy she
reports recalling their neighbor Mitch Bruce knocking on the garage door
where her dad was. She remembers that her dad came and grabbed her out of
the bed and took her outside. Jesse added, "It was surreal sitting in our
truck watching our house go up in flames as the fire fighters were working
for three hours trying to tackle the blaze."
The house suffered major damage, especially to the roof and the attic.
Rebuilding will be a significant project. Jesse is hoping it won't be too
long before Charlotte and he can move back into their house. "In reality,
it probably wont happen any time soon," Jesse said.
The Ballards will spend Christmas with family.
Charlotte wished to give a "shout out to Boompada" her grandfather.
[image: Inline image 4]