MANDAN, N.D. - Back in August, fire destroyed several apartments at Sunset Bluffs in Mandan. Many families lost almost everything, although community response helped in a big way.
When I last spoke to the Antoine family, they were staying in a relatives basement, after escaping the fire, with only the clothes on their back. They just purchased their first home just in time for the holidays.
This isn't just a clock to Barbara Antoine. It's a special item that was lost in her family's apartment after the fire at Sunset Bluffs in Mandan.
Barbara and her husband Mac just moved into their first home and this was their first house warming gift from her parents.
"And I started crying because I never thought I would replace it, I just thought it was something that was gone," said Barbara Antoine.
Even though this might be a small item, it serves as a reminder of how family and the community is a foundation of hope.
"Everything in the house was either bought during the summer during rummage sales or was donated to us," said Barbara.
Barbara says even though the fire was devastating, most of their problems have been solved.
"We used our insurance which was hard, cuz' we didn't have anything, but we used that insurance money that we got and we paid all our debt, so we were able to buy our house," said Barbara.
Just in time for the holidays, the Antoine's will be hosting Christmas at their new home.
"I feel like God got us, and he's watching over us and he's watching over everyone else too," said Mac Antoine.
Barbara and Mac say they're grateful for the community, and are excited to spread the hope of holiday cheer.
Barbara says if you know anyone affected by the fire, reach out and just check in to see how they're doing because some don't have family in the area and the holidays might be difficult for them.