From total destruction to a chance for a new start
Tina Jensen reports. Video by IdahoOnYourSide.comvideo
A Meridian grandmother is back in a new home tonight, a year after her home burned down and she barely escaped with her life.
It was all made possible by a couple guys who decided they would do whatever it takes to make sure Elestine Guthmiller was back in a home by Thanksgiving.
Guthmiller’s home of 37 years was destroyed in September 2011 after her grandson was working in the garage, and a cigarette caused some stove pellets and chemicals to ignite.
The home was destroyed in minutes.
"I was just numb. No words can express it” she said. “Everything you own in the fire is just gone"
In the aftermath of the fire, the family discovered Guthmiller did not have nearly enough fire insurance.
"We had called around for several contractors to find out how much it would take, and it's amazing what it takes to put a home back together," said her daughter, Brigitte Bell.
That’s when Treasure Valley Remodel and Restoration stepped in.
“We were considerably more than what they had budgeted,” said Eric Knepprath, co-owner of Treasure Valley Remodel and Restoration. “All in all we spent some time – we prayed about it, thought about it, talked about it – and we decided it was our duty to put this house back together for them"
On Friday, Guthmiller received the keys to her new house – and got to step into a home of her own once more.
The guys at Treasure Valley Remodel and Restoration didn’t want any of the glory. It was Guthmiller’s daughter who contacted me to tell me about all the extra time and labor they’d put in – and how they’d gathered subcontractors to work within the family’s small budget.
"It's been absolutely amazing working on the project,” said Lucas Garcia, superintendent for Treasure Valley Remodel and Restoration, who gave credit to the subcontractors who came together to help them out. “We made sure upfront everyone knew the position we were in and that the Guthmillers needed our help to put the home back together.”
Guthmiller is now back in a new home – with space for her 16 grandchildren – just in time for Thanksgiving.
"You just go on living,” she said, reflecting on all she had lost – and received – in the past year. “The good Lord takes care of you no matter what."