After a surreal week, a Berks family counts its blessings
Festivities go on despite fire in one house, crash at 2nd
Sean Thompson celebrated the arrival of 2016 the way he has for many years – with his friends and family.
Last Dec. 31, Sean and his wife, Laurie, married in front of the Christmas tree in their Muhlenberg Township home.
The Thompsons had every intention to host a combined New Year’s Eve/anniversary party Thursday night, but fate intervened.
A fire Monday morning extensively damaged their Cherokee Ranch home and killed their two beloved pets.
The fire came three days after a pickup crashed on the porch of Sean’s parents’ Temple home, just minutes away from his residence.
With the Thompson blended family of six – they each have two children from a previous marriage – living temporarily out of a hotel suite provided by their homeowners insurance, friends naturally assumed they wouldn’t be up for celebrating.
Oh, how they were mistaken.
The party was held at the home of his sister, Kristin Rautzhan, and her husband, Matthew, in Ruscombmanor Township.
“It’s been a rough time, but you know what, we’re all very strong believers and have strong faith and luckily everyone is all healthy and no one was hurt,” Sean said.
The family lost the use of their home for at least four months because of fire and smoke damage. Most of their possessions were ruined, as well, Sean said.
“Losing the pets has been the toughest part, especially for the kids,” Sean said. “The kids are having a tough time.”
When Sean arrived at the scene of the fire, police officers directed him to the back of the house where his wife was leaning over a gurney that held the lifeless body of their 1-year-old, 90-pound Labrador, Jax.