The structure fire in Chester on Nov. 22 | Courtesy Rainee Forbush
ST. ANTHONY — It’s been over a week since a family lost their home, belongings and a well-loved family pet in a fire.
The fire happened 10 miles away from St. Anthony in the Chester area on Nov. 22. According to David Fausett, the assistant fire chief with the South Fremont Fire Department, firefighters were paged out at 1:30 p.m. to a structure fire where black smoke was coming from a trailer home.
Rainee Forbush said her family —- her husband Branson and her three-year-old son Krew —- had just moved into the trailer. She said they spent the whole summer remodeling it and had lived in it for just four days until it went up in flames.
The Forbush Family. | Courtesy Rainee Forbush
“Our plan was to live in that while we slowly built our house,” Forbush explained.
On Nov. 22, Forbush remembers the kitchen sink was frozen. She couldn’t do the dishes and decided to go to her mother-in-law’s house to do them. She took her son and was gone for almost three hours. Her husband was at work at the time.
“I went back home and I was on the phone with my husband and I said, ‘Branson, there’s smoke coming from over by our house. I hope it’s not our house, and at the time, it had looked just like chimney smoke but just a little bit more,” Forbush recalls. “As I kept getting closer, I kept saying, ‘Branson, I think our house is on fire…’ and when I finally could see that it was our house, one of our dogs was inside. I hurried as fast as I could.”
Courtesy Rainee Forbush
Forbush said she had two dogs outside while one dog was inside their home. The three-year-old Great Dane named Theo was suspected of having bone cancer, so he wasn’t doing very well and wanted to sleep on the couch.
“The fire hadn’t reached the front door yet, so when I had opened the door, I breathed in a bunch of smoke, and I saw my dog laying there, and I called 911,” she said.
Forbush says one of her neighbors came running over with buckets. They both tried to put water on the fire, but it was already too far progressed.
“(My neighbor) had asked me if there was anybody inside, and I said, ‘No, just my dog,’ and he, without hesitation, barreled in there and pulled my dog out of the fire,” she said. “He brought him out and started doing CPR. When the EMTs got there, they also tried CPR, which I thought was pretty amazing for a dog.”
Theo. | Courtesy Rainee Forbush
Theo was already gone.
“I think the hardest part for us is our dog. It sucks that we lost everything else, but those things are all replaceable,” Forbush said. “So anytime I talk about Theo, that’s kind of hard.”
Nothing inside their home was salvageable. Krew’s bedroom was completely set up with his toys and bed.
“It was a total loss. By the time we got there, there was nothing that could be done,” Fausett said.
Fausett told EastIdahoNews.com they do not know the cause of the fire yet, but it does appear that it may have started in the water heater area of the home.
The Red Cross came and assisted the Forbush family. Forbush says they are staying with family members currently, and she has been able to replace some of their clothes.
Despite what has happened, she is so grateful to her community and to the people that she doesn’t know that have helped her family.
“We owe a huge thank you to our neighbors, to the fire department and any first responders that were there and helped comfort us during the time, and also everybody that’s reached out to us even if it was just a thought or a prayer,” she said. “Those mean just as much as anything else. We are very thankful to everybody. It’s good to know that people will always have your back when you need it most.”
For anyone who would like to help the Forbush family with everyday necessities, Forbush has provided a Venmo @Branson-Forbush and created an Amazon Wishlist. Click here to view the wishlist.
Venmo information. | Courtesy Rainee Forbush
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