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Community Helps Wallace Family Rebuild With Benefit Dinner in Shinnston
Written by Alex Wiederspiel
Last updated on July 21, 2013 @ 6:55PM
Created on July 21, 2013 @ 5:26PM

What would you do if you lost everything but the clothes on your back? Who would be their to help you rebuild? As one family from Wallace found out Sunday, they had an entire community supporting them.

For Kris Wagner and her son Kyle, it would have seemed that an early Thursday morning fire had taken everything. Instead, it showed them they had a wealth of friends to help them rebuild in these tough times.

It was 5:00 a.m. when Kyle Wagner was woken up by his mother to find his home was in flames.

"My mom woke me up at quarter to, and saw that half the house was on fire--the outside of it," Kyle told 5 News.

But from the ashes of their lost home the family has been brought the support of an entire community to rebuild, and as Kris Wagner puts it-- move on.

"To rebuild. To rebuild our future [and] our lives," Kris told 5 News.

Kyle works with the volunteer fire department, and Wallace's Fire Chief Roger Luchuck says that makes him part of the family.

"At local small fire departments we try to consider ourselves a close-knit family, and anytime anybody loses a house it's complete devastation whether it's in a community or not," Luchuck told 5 News.

"This family has been very active in our department--supporting us throughout the years--and we wanted to try and give back and do whatever we could to get them back on their feet and moving," he added.

Wallace's Fire Department put the benefit dinner together less then 10 days after the fire took Kris and Kyle's home.

"It's just amazing what can happen when the community comes together to help a family out in need, especially a family of a fire department. Everybody can come together."

In addition to the food, there was face painting and raffles. With upwards of 400 people from Wallace, Shinnston, Lumberport, and other towns expected to attend, the Wagners were overwhelmed with gratitude.

"I'm just truly blessed. I posted the pictures that my son had taken, and it's not what I lost, but what we survived," Kris Wagner said to 5 News.
"It means everything to me. Wallace Volunteer Fire Department has been excellent. Those guys--I mean I'm part of the volunteer fire department--and those guys are like brothers to me," added Kyle.

This fire reminded Kris Wagner of one vital thing: when there is a fire, you need to get out.

The dinner at Lincoln High School was free to anyone who wanted to attend, and those in attendance then made donations to the Wagners.

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