Ed Brumer has much to be thankful for, even though he and his family were left homeless after a fire ravaged their house right before Thanksgiving.
But family members, including their grandkids are safe, and the Gulfport community has rallied with help.
For the past six days Ed Brumer's phone has been ringing off the hook. He says friends, neighbors and clients are offering his family places to stay, food and other donations until they can get back on their feet.
"It makes me feel great, it's just amazing," Brumer said.
Ed, his wife Michelle, their son Nathan, and two grandchildren, ages 5 and 8, made it out safely when their home at 4711 Coronado Way caught fire early Wednesday morning.
He says they were only able to grab some clothes for his wife and granddaughter in the rush to get out.
"Everything's gone inside. It's all charred . . . smoke damage," he said.
But they made it out alive. Unharmed. Then people started coming forward. The goodwill and offers of support have not stopped.
Immediately following the news, Brumer says his clients opened up their homes for his family.
Brumer is a third generation self-employed carpenter with a list of loyal, caring clients. "They're like family," he said. He has 40 clients in the Pasadena Yacht and Country Club alone, and one of them offered up a condo for the Brumer family for Thanksgiving. It was a humbling experience.
"I've got beautiful clients. They've all reached out," he said.
The Gulfport Fire Department donated a turkey, sides and pies for the family the day of the fire.
Brumer says that they have another home they can stay in until Jan. 7. And, as soon as fire investigators and insurance adjusters have given him the all clear, he plans on fixing up his home.
Although he has no idea how much damage the fire caused, he's hopeful he can repair some of the damage.
"I never wanted to move," he said.
The family's lived in Gulfport for about 12 to 15 years. Both Ed and his wife, Michelle, are self-employed. They hope to stay here and retire in Gulfport.
"I love Gulfport." he said.
Ed and Michelle are helping raise their grandchildren, and say the two little ones spend about half their time in Gulfport and half their time with their father. Right now, they are with their father.
How You Can Help
Gulfport Fire Chief James Marenkovic says if people drop off donations at the fire station, they will make sure they get to the family. The Gulfport Fire Department is located at 5314 23rd Ave S.
Brumer realizes that people want to help and says he may be able to find storage space or rent a POD in a couple of weeks. He's also looking into creating a fund for people to send monetary donations.
Stay with Gulfport Patch for updates!