CHISAGO COUNTY, Minn. — Just days before Christmas, a Chisago County family experienced the unthinkable when a fire tragically took everything they owned, their home and their three dogs.
"Everything you've ever worked for was in there and now it's gone," said Heather Fisher.
Now, boxes and boxes of donations are packed in the basement of their rental home.
"All of this stuff in here was donated from the community," Nate Fisher said, showing the room of donations. "It's overwhelming in a really good way."
The family is still unpacking everything that's happened since Dec. 19.
It was a Monday afternoon and Heather was at work when her neighbor called to tell her their home was on fire.
"It's like an emotional rollercoaster but you're ready to get off," Heather said.
Their home and belongings were destroyed in the fire, and their three dogs — Ekko, Miah and Kyro — were killed. Kyro was Nate's K9 partner at the Chisago County Sheriff's Office.
"After I stoked the woodstove, I walked by his kennel and said, 'See you soon, buddy!'" Nate said.
The Fishers went back to the site of the house fire with KARE 11.
"I'll be honest, this does not get easier," Heather said.
"No. No, it does not," Nate concluded.
"This is the hard view. It's tough," Heather said, looking at the back of the home, the section with the most damage.
"The wood-burning stove was right next to the door, here, and that's where the fire originated," Nate said.
Following the fire, support showed up from across the country.
"We received cards from Alaska, Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, Wisconsin, East Coast, West Coast," Heather and Nate said.
A GoFundMe for the family raised $160,000 by the end of March.
"I want people to know we are very grateful for everything and people like them are what helped us," Heather said.
The family says they are grateful for all the kindness shown by family, friends and strangers. And as time fades, they shared the grief they feel for their dogs is still painful.
"We loved them. And we still do," Heather said.
What was left of the Fisher's home has recently been torn down and the family plans to rebuild on their property.
The Chisago County Sheriff's Office is working to partner Nate with another K9 officer.
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