After Gosper, Furnas County fire, one woman says a miracle saved her home
“The fire went all around, but our house is still standing.”
NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) - Tové Reiman quickly packed a box with pictures. She placed the picture of her parents in a cardboard box, next to the urn with her mother’s ashes. Her son, Thaddeus, is a volunteer with the Beaver City Volunteer Fire Department and he told her, “Mom, you have to leave.”
The family home north of Arapahoe is where Tové and her husband Brad spent years raising their family. They bought their dream country home over a decade ago. With a glance at the memories she could not carry, she gathered her cats and the cardboard box that she had time to take, and she drove away believing she may never see her home again.
Her son had the same feelings just minutes later as he followed his mom down the drive to Highway 283. Tové says he told her later that he looked back down the drive to see the cloud of smoke wrapping around the home. He did not dare believe it would still be standing.
Yet, somehow, the flames wrapped around the house, leaving the house nearly untouched as it destroyed outbuildings, three cars, and the family garage. It destroyed everything around the house, even Tovés lawnmower stored safely away in one of the buildings. Tové credits soaking the dry lawn with a garden hose and spraying down the house as much as she could as the fire loomed closer. But even more, she credits prayer and her faith in God. And with her mom’s ashes tucked safely next to her as she drove away from her home, she says maybe her mom did what she could from Heaven to save the hutch in the kitchen where her ashes normally rest.
Tové said, “She loved that antique cabinet.”
Tové says the wind was so aggressive that it whipped past her home, and while she only has a tree line and her house left, she is grateful. She even admits feeling guilty for her home surviving while her closest neighbors to the south, and many others, lost every inch of their home. Less than two miles away along Highway 283, her neighbors’ home is leveled to the ground with only a basement and a melted fence to show where it had stood, just hours earlier. Her heart breaks for them.
Tové says she spent Friday making phone calls about the well, the power, and other important things. She is grateful for how helpful everyone is. Saturday Tové is heading back to work as a 911 Emergency Dispatcher at the Furnas County Sheriff’s Office. In the meantime, a good friend has her pets, and besides a layer of silt in the window sills, a fine layer of dust and soot on everything in her home, and the strong smell of smoke inside, she and her family will rebuild. And she says everyone is safe, and that is what matters.
Tové says she is extremely grateful to everyone for caring and helping so much. She says it’s “just what people around here do.”
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