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Coaldale fire victim speaks on what loss of home means to her
Amanda Orsten, a single mom to a ten-year-old son, says they lost more than just their belongings in the Monday fire.
COALDALE, ALTA. -- Residents of a Coaldale, Alta., home that was destroyed by fire Monday lost over $250 000 worth of belongings, but it was more than belongings they lost.
"This was our first home that we bought. This meant that there was no more moving between rental homes," said Amanda Orsten.
For Orsten, who is a single parent to ten-year-old son Ryker, the home was a symbol of all she had worked toward over the past few years.
"I became a mom to my son when I was only 17 and my life became a trajectory of goals," said Orsten.
One of Osten’s goals was to own a home.
"Everything that I had put into creating this home. (It was a) promise to my son that we would never have to move again," said Orsten.
Orsten finished seven years of schooling last April, graduating with her master's of social work, which opened enough financial doors for her to buy the home.
She is still working in the midst of the pandemic, so for safety reasons, she thought it would be wise to have Ryker stay with her parents.
It turned out to be a blessing when the house burned down Monday morning. Ryker's room was one of the first areas to catch on fire.
"There was a reason he wasn't there and I’m very thankful for that," said Orsten.
While they, may have lost their home and all their possessions, Orsten hasn't lost faith in her community. Local residents donated several thousand dollars through a GofundMe and people also provided clothes and toys for Ryker, along with an Easter basket from the Coaldale Fire Department.
"I never expected anything, I lost everything and gained so much in a 24-hour span," said Orsten.
The family is grateful for what they have received but for those still wanting to help, the GoFundMe page is still receiving donations and the family will gladly accept gift cards for food, which can be organized through the Coaldale Fire Department.