Dysart et al Fire Department firefighters fight a fire at a George Street residence on Friday, Feb. 4 in Haliburton. Firefighters fought the fire for close to nine hours, even returning three times over two days. /DARREN LUM Staff

To Haliburton with love

The following is a letter written to the community by Haliburton resident Aggie Tose, who is the mother of Terry Casey, who lost her home to a house fire on Feb. 4.

What do you say?
My daughter, Terry Casey, her partner Andy Billings, granddaughter Emma Casey, grandsons Jaxen Casey, and Anson Casey lost their home on Feb. 4 to a fire. Her amazing tenant Jackie also lost her home. Everyone is safe including the cat and the dog!
So, how can you not be thankful? 

At different times my grandsons, who are almost 10 and 12 said, “But it’s not fair … why Gramma?’ Yes, fire is not fair! I had no answer, but to say it was okay because as long as they are all safe we can replace the stuff. Those words seem a lot more important now after I watched their home go up in smoke all day.
The Dysart et al Fire Department fought that fire tirelessly for nine plus hours! The darn thing wasn’t giving an inch. The age of the home and the previous additions created many issues for our fire crew, but in the end they beat it down. At 12:09 pm I got the call about the fire, and, finally, at 9:48 pm Terry and her family were at my house and in the hot tub.
We are very blessed to live in this wonderful place called Haliburton. I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else!
Our fire department is amazing and at times I could see many could not raise their arms because they were frozen and yet they kept going. We do not give them the respect they deserve and I promise from this day forward I will.

From the ashes, a picture of Stan and Norma Tose, who are Terry’s grandparents with her grandmother’s wedding ring were discovered by firefighters in the basement bedroom of the Haliburton home. The ring was a gift to daughter Emma for her birthday last year, as it was a dying wish of Norma. Submitted by Aggie Tose.

So many neighbours came and brought hot coffee, served it and cleaned up for the fire department. They shared their homes for a place to warm up and care. Cody Hunter, shared his home for warmth, quiet conversation and refreshments and food. They brought snow pants, hats, and blankets for us and paper towels for the firefighters to try and dry their visors. Nancy Roberts arrived at some point with pizzas. We later added subway sandwiches and more coffee to keep everyone going, it was a long day. 
The paramedic teams were there to make sure everyone was okay ALL day! Plus our Dysart crew maintaining traffic control. So thankful for all that they do.

My friends brought dinner to my house after the fire. Plus friends brought clothes for Terry and Andy. Friends of the boys brought clothes and gifts. Other friends have already scheduled dinners for other nights, we are so blessed! 
How, how do you say thank you for all of this?
These amazing men and women gave their all at the fire, plus all who are so supportive to Terry and her family, there are just not enough words.
I am so grateful for all of you!!!
Thank you for being there for my family. I will never forget Feb. 4, 2022.