Editor, Daily Times:

To our family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and the entire Watertown community and beyond, we don’t know where to begin. Words can never truly express our gratitude for all of the prayers, thoughts, help, and encouragement offered to our family following the loss of our home on Oct. 29, 2017, to a house fire. The list of individuals who have reached out to offer support during a very difficult time leaves us feeling overwhelmed with feelings of comfort and gratitude.

We have to begin with a special thanks to the first responders who came to our home on Oct. 29. To the firefighters and the police of Watertown and the various fire departments from surrounding communities, we cannot thank you enough for the heroic effort to limit the damage to our home and the damage to the homes of our neighbors on that evening. Our deepest gratitude to our daughter Alexus for her quick call to action. Alexus happened to see the fire and alert us to get out of the house just before it began to escalate and called 911. If it wasn’t for your timing and your quick thinking things may have been much different. We love you bunches and bunches and forever and ever.

We would like to publicly thank and acknowledge Benji and Melinda Kamrath and their family for their support and generosity in taking in our family without a hesitation as we work to rebuild our home. On our family’s worst night, you two were immediately by our side to help us through the shock and grief of losing everything. You have provided us with comfort and the essentials we need as we scramble to get back on our feet. We can never thank you enough for the sacrifices you and your entire family have made to share your home with us. Thank you for the space, advice, meals, listening ears, laughter, and willingness to be completely selfless in our time of need.

Thank you to Keegan Kind and Kiara Kuehl for your quick response to action and willingness to help our family when the unexpected occurred. The two of you were like angels that happened to be at our home when we came running out and your actions that evening serve as examples of bravery and kindness etched permanently in our minds.

With regards to the caring, wonderful people that we have the privilege to know as neighbors and friends on Maplecrest Lane, thank you for all you have done for our family. The compassion and generosity that was shown to us started while the fire was still burning and continues each day. Thank you Jen and Chris Harris, Dale and Terry Olson, Tim Stankey and Alex Atkinson, Kris and Jeff Meloy, Tim and Linda Laehr and Wendy and Rod Pichette for your support, kind words, warm jackets, hot chocolate, and willingness to risk all for our family. Our sadness over the loss of our home on that night will fade but the memories of your kind gestures and images of your noble actions will never be forgotten

With regard to the Watertown community, Riverside Middle School staff and students, Douglas Elementary staff and Watertown High School communities in particular, a heartfelt thank you for all of your generous donations, volunteering of your time, and meals. Never in a million years did we think we would be on the receiving end of so many acts of kindness. We are truly humbled and overwhelmed by it all.

We are eternally grateful for everything the community has done for us. Thank you to anyone who has spent time working to demo our house after the fire or put in countless hours to rebuild our family home during these past few weeks. Special thanks to Joe Dittman and Wisconsin Trim Specialists for restoring our family home during the winter months in Wisconsin. It may be some time before we get a chance to personally acknowledge all the incredible people that helped us in ways that cannot be easily put into words but know that we have seen every text, listened to every voicemail, read each email, and treasured each of the beautiful cards that have been sent. We are blessed to call Watertown our hometown.

We will never forget the incredible support and generosity you have all given. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.

The Kamrath family

Joel, Chris, Alexus,

Braedyn, and Paxton


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