The community of Pilot Butte has come together to help one of their long-time residents after their home was destroyed by a fire.
Wanda Hanson and her husband, Dale, lived at the home in Pilot Butte, east of Regina, for more than 30 years.
Just after 4 p.m. on July 15, a fire started that eventually engulfed the house.
“You’re thinking it’s maybe a little fire that’s going to damage some stuff, but not realizing that everything you have is gone,” Hanson said.
“All you have is the clothes on your back, but thinking about it, it’s okay because we have our family.”
No one was home at the time of the fire except for her son’s brand new puppy. Hanson said that new puppy was at the top of her mind when she first saw the fire.
“We couldn’t get to him, it was heartbreaking,” she said.
Hanson is well-known in the community, previously being the owner of the Pilot Butte Confectionery since 1992, before selling the business in early 2016. The night of the fire, she saw some familiar faces coming to help.
“Some of these firefighters I’ve known since they were little boys and there they are, fighting my house fire and trying to save our neighbours houses,” she said.
Since the tragedy, the community has rallied to help the Hanson family with their recovery. Bronco’s Pub and Grill has been donating $5 for every purchase of their “Hanson double cheeseburger and fries.”
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family and drop-off locations for donations have been arranged.
A benefit is also being held on July 21 in Pilot Butte.
Hanson called the community support “overwhelming,” adding even people she doesn’t know have reached out.
“It’s really humbling to see it all,” she said. “The firemen, my friends – they’ve all done so much and I really truly appreciate it all.”
Hanson said people in the town share a strong bond, and cited that as her main reason for planning to rebuild in Pilot Butte.