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Evergreen community comes to aid of family displaced by fire

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By Stephanie DeCamp

A family new to Evergreen is overwhelmed by the outpouring of support they’ve received in the wake of a fire that severely damaged their home — including efforts to keep a son’s impending wedding on track.

The Bruce family moved to Evergreen last summer and into a home on Armadillo Trail off Highway 73 — the house that caught fire last month when wood framing around the chimney ignited and sent the Bruces fleeing into a chilly evening with only the clothes they were wearing.

Dave and Teri Bruce and their children were left literally without a roof over their heads — and with son Trevor Kennon’s rehearsal dinner fast approaching. But the mountain community pulled together to help the newcomers. 

The Salvation Army is helping out with financial aid, and local developer Ron Lewis donated The Barn at Marshdale for Trevor’s rehearsal dinner. One neighbor who wished to remain unnamed gave the family $200 and his credit card. Aspen Ridge Church has been there since the day after the fire with food, clothes, money and support.

“There have been so many people giving us clothing,” Dave said, “and others giving us emergency cash. Even the cell-phone company replaced the phones for free. It’s just been an amazing response from everybody.”

And some good has come from the fire: When Teri Bruce shared the family’s story with her church group, one woman decided to get her fireplace installation checked, only to discover that it, too, was unsafe.

The wedding must go on

Three neighbors offered to host the rehearsal dinner, Teri said, until Lewis called with the offer of The Barn. Then, Dana Port, who owns Haley’s Closet in Conifer, called to offer anything in her store to Teri and daughters Mackenzie and Erin, who also has a wedding coming up. It was there that Teri found a dress to wear to the wedding.

“When families go through things like this,” Port said, “we want them to come to us. We have so many things we can donate, and they’re not the first family we've donated to. We want to get the word out that we have our arms and doors wide open for them to come in at no charge or cost.”

As for the Bruces, they’re just thankful all the family members are safe — and that they decided to move to a caring community like Evergreen.

“We’re not victims,” Dave Bruce said. “You know, this is something that happened to us, but our faith uplifted us. God never promised us that bad things wouldn’t happen. He just gave us the tools to deal with them, and to reach out and help other people, too. 

“We had a lot of people ask us the night of the fire how we could be so calm and collected, and it’s our faith in God, and recognizing that we were all out and safe, and that it’s just stuff.”

Contact Stephanie DeCamp at Stephanie@evergreenco.com or 303-350-1043. Check CanyonCourier.com for updates and breaking news.