Family rebuilds life after house fire with help from friends, strangers

A fire caused a family to lose nearly every thing they owned, but they are giving thanks this Easter Sunday after people at their church, friends and even total strangers stepped up to help them rebuild their lives.

A hand-drawn map hung on a fence outside the Brutsman's home, which was nearly gutted after a stove fire on Thursday.

The Brutsman's 5-year-old daughter drew a map so the Easter Bunny could find them at the hotel where they're staying.

"It's hard to walk away from your house and literally not be able to take any thing away from it," said Debby Brutsman.

No one was home at the time of the fire.

The babysitter called Brutsman, who arrived in time to see firefighters at work.

"Just seeing them bring out a quilt my husband had made to me, a bed I re-did. It was really hard to see our life come out," said Brutsman.

The Brutsman's have insurance, but because of the holiday they say it may be a while before the property is assessed.  

In need of basics, like toothbrushes, clothes and food, Brutsman's sister started a Facebook page for the family.

"We don't even know what all of our needs are, so she set up the fundraiser. Folks are donating. It's been a huge, huge blessing for us," said Brutsman.

It turns out that the hand-drawn map Lily made worked!

On Sunday morning, Brutsman's 5-year-old twins and their 3-year-old son woke up to an Easter surprise.

"I already had their Easter stuff in the house, their little outfits, stuff I ordered, that was kind of heart breaking for me. When they woke up this morning, they each had three easter baskets and clothes given to them and that's almost more special than all the planning I normally do to try to make Easter special," said Brutsman.

"What people can do, ordinary normal people, it's a force to be reckon with," said Brutsman. "I just love the saying 'love wins' because I feel like right now through all of this love's winning and it's really helping us get through."

The Brutsman Family Fire Recovery Fundraiser: http://on.fb.me/1aaqec6

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