Erskine-area family loses home, belongings in blaze

Devastated by the loss of their home that was gutted by fire last Saturday, a young Erskine-area family is grateful for the support

Devastated by the loss of their home that was gutted by fire last Saturday, a young Erskine-area family is grateful for the support from family and friends.

Tim and Cara Herbert lost all their material possessions after fire destroyed their home northwest of Erskine at the corner of Secondary Highway 601 and Range Road 21-5.

Stettler Regional Fire Department arrived at about 2:10 p.m. and battled the blaze for several hours in bitter, frigid temperatures.

“We have lost everything,” said Tim, who was working in Grande Prairie on service rigs when he got the call that afternoon and drove back home.

The Herberts have four children — ages nine, seven, four and two.

An avid hunter, Tim was concerned about his family’s welfare — and his prized catches.

“It’s pretty devastating when you lose your deer horns, but family convinced me not to go in,” Tim said.

While no one was inside at the time of the fire, Cara noticed smoke billowing out of the eaves troughs when she arrived home from Stettler at about 2 p.m. and immediately phoned 911.

Flames were showing through the roof of the double-wide mobile home when firefighters arrived, said fire department official Amanda Spensley.

Investigators continue to determine the cause of the fire in the house, which was home to the Herberts for the past six months.

With four young children, the couple is grateful for the support the community has already offered. They received clothing, toys and monetary donations from family and friends, while the family stays with his parents, Shelley and Randy Saunders, in Red Deer.

“Our family is taking great care of us,” Tim said.

“It’s overwhelming support from all over. It’s pretty amazing.”

“It’s very humbling,” added Cara, who grew up in the Bashaw area.

To further help the family, a trust fund has been opened at Scotiabank and TD Canada Trust in Stettler by longtime family friend Nicole Peters.

“It’s a blessing that people have given clothing,” Peters said.

Estimated value of the loss continues to be calculated as the Herberts list their belongings.

For more information to support the family, phone Peters at 403-742-6402 or cell 403-596-3199.

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