Jessica Cockram

Ladies Auxiliary holds steak dinner for families affected by Gore St. fire

 

 

By Jolene Perron

 

After a fire destroyed their lives, the community has banded together to support two local families affected by the tragedy.

“My best friend is the owner of the house so we decided to do it for them,” said Ladies Auxiliary executive committee member and volunteer Jennifer Gammon. “We want to raise money for both of the families so they can start over again, start paying rent and get themselves back on track. It warms my heart because I love helping people and being able to make their lives better.”

Jessica Cockram and Erik Renaud sit outside the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 157 Saturday before the steak dinner is served with their two sons Logan and Easton. The proceeds from the Ladies Auxiliary steak dinner will be split between them and their neighbor who was also affected by the fire.

Jessica Cockram and Erik Renaud sit outside the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 157 Saturday before the steak dinner is served with their two sons Logan and Easton. The proceeds from the Ladies Auxiliary steak dinner will be split between them and their neighbor who was also affected by the fire.

Jessica Cockram, fiancé Erik Renaud and their two boys were present at the event Saturday to express their sincere gratitude for everyone who has reached out and helped them in some way. She explained the night of the fire, they had been up cleaning their house until 4 a.m. They were woken up at 7:30 a.m. by the fire alarms going off and the house filled with thick, black smoke. Renaud woke up first and yelled at Cockram to get the kids. She grabbed their son Logan, while he grabbed their son Easton and they all ran outside. They were able to save their dog, the firefighters rescued one of their cats, but they lost all of their reptiles and two cats in the fire, along with all of their belongings.

“Everybody has been amazing, I had people bringing stuff to us while we were at the end of the street,” said Cockram. “We’re looking for a place but it’s so hard to find in Amherstburg. We’re staying at Erik’s grandfather’s right now just taking it day-by-day, waiting for a place to come up.”

Cockram said they’ve received couches and beds, and their sons have been very well taken care of, so much so that they have had to sort through all of the donations and whatever they couldn’t use, they’ve donated back to the mission and donation boxes around town. Cockram said they wanted to keep the cycle going.
“It feels really surreal, I feel like I could just wake up tomorrow morning and go home and everything will be there, but you can’t. We have nothing from the house,” said Cockram. “We didn’t really get to say thank you to the police officers and the fire fighters and Red Cross, disaster teams, they were all so helpful and amazing. Everybody who on that day who helped us and helped the boys, were so amazing.”

The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 157 is still accepting donations for the families affected by the fire.