A month after a house fire claimed the lives of their three pets, Kyla Gibson and Gavin Hardy are doing their best to move forward.
The couple was renting a home off of Lakeshore Drive on 52 Street in Sylvan Lake when an electrical issue caused the blaze on Boxing Day.
Not home at the time, Gibson and Hardy learned of the fire when they received a call from the police at around 5 p.m. that evening.
Although the extent of the damage was in the kitchen, there was smoke damage to the rest of the home and the fire claimed the lives of their two dogs, Wrangler and Waylon, and their cat Mabel.
“The hardest part for us was losing the animals,” said Gibson.
“Life is strange without them; they were our world and nothing will ever replace them.”
They are now trying to make the new place they are renting in Red Deer feel “somewhat like home,” says Gibson.
Gibson says their new landlords are “a wonderful couple that have treated us like we are family” which is making things a bit easier.
She is now back to work at a hair salon in Bentley, while Hardy is trying to keep his mind busy with small projects at home, she says.
While still reeling from the loss of their pets, they are also facing the challenge of replacing furniture, small appliances, clothing and personal items.
Gibson’s friend Jayden Arnold set up a GoFundMe page for the couple, to help them get back on their feet.
The page notes the fire came “right after Christmas during a pandemic,” and leaving them without a place to live.
“All donations will help this amazing young couple with getting everything to rebuild their lives in a new home, day-to-day expenses while they get everything sorted out, as well as any cost associated with the fire.”
Some items have been donated as well as monetary contributions.
As of Jan. 20, $10,585 had been raised of the $25,000 goal.
Gibson is grateful for all those who have donated so far and to Arnold for organizing the fundraiser.
“We have so much love for all of you and we will be paying it forward,” said Gibson.
“R.I.P Wrangler, Waylon and Mabel. We miss you so much and you are so deeply loved. One day we will be connected again.”
Those interested in donating can do so at www.gofund.me/cda92da9