Jerry Holm’s Positive Attitude Shines Through Weekend Fire
“There are worse things that could happen,” were that words that Jerry Holm expressed after he was asked about a weekend fire that destroyed his garage and home in New London. Holm says the overwhelming feeling remains as he determines where to begin to rebuild.
The New London Fire Department was dispatched to Holm’s residence shortly after 10 p.m. Saturday night on County Highway S, and while Holm and his family managed to escape safely, damage estimates could exceed over $200,000.
“I was going to get up, take my meds, and go to bed, and when I looked out my window it was bright orange,” Holm recalled from Saturday night. “I went looked out the window and I saw it was a fire. I went downstairs and grabbed the fire extinguisher, sprayed in [the garage], but I pretty much knew as I was spraying I would not be able to save the garage.”
No cause of the fire has been officially determined, however the flames originated in the garage, which stands just four feet from his house. Still, despite the challenges facing the Holm family, Jerry is putting his best foot forward.
“We are really lucky how it all worked out,” said Holm. “It could have been much worse.”
Holm added recent events in his life have kept him thinking positive thoughts lately. Those events included health issues, less ability to work and financial concerns.
“This isn’t the worse thing that’s ever happened to me,” he said regarding the destruction of his home. “The worst thing that’s ever happened to me is my health, so this is the second-worst. To me, it’s like ‘eh,’ I just have to re-do it. I understand what it’s like to be in hard times, so a good joke is even good, but for my daughter, it’s a little tougher because she’s a teenager and her whole childhood just went up in smoke.”
It didn’t take long for the community to respond.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to assist the Holm family and has taken off in the two days since it was created. As of Wednesday morning, 23 people have donated a total of just over $2,500, which Jerry makes sure will go towards helping his daughter.
“That’s awesome and I know a lot of the people, but there’s a lot of them I don’t know too, so I think it’s great,” he said about the support his family has received thus far. “Basically, everything that’s been coming in so far I’ve been giving to [my daughter] because she still has school and all that, getting her nice clothes back. For me, it isn’t as important.”
Jerry acknowledges that the tragic events have been hardest on his daughter, but he’s doing his best to make it easier on her and the rest of the family by putting the situation into perspective.
“I’m always positive, I put something positive on Facebook every day,” Jerry said. “To help [my daughter] understand, I told her the family is okay, no one got hurt, my health is bad, my house is gone, so now there’s only one direction that things can go now, and that’s fun when things go up. Even when you start at the bottom, it’s still fun when things go up.”
The original home on the property was a mobile home, but in recent years, Holm attached a house to the mobile home, that portion and the garage was what was lost in the fire.
Holm’s parents were able to move back into their mobile unit on Tuesday, however the American Red Cross is helping Jerry’s family in the meantime while they are displaced.