Considering they lost almost everything they had, it's been a tough month for a northeast South Dakota family. But it's been a rewarding one too.
Fire destroyed Greg Pigors home near Ferney almost a month ago. But the loss has shown how many friends he truly has.
A house in Ferney has, for now, become a make-shift home Greg Pigors and his nine-year-old daughter Jennifer. It has been since January 22nd when they were a half hour from home and the phone rang.
"My heart started pounding. I started considering the possibility that it really was happening," Pigors said.
A relative told them their house had caught fire. By the time a neighbor noticed it and firefighters arrived, the whole house was engulfed in flames. Before the Pigors got back home, everything was gone.
"I was really sad," Jennifer said.
The nine-year-old said she realized as soon as she saw the fire that everything was gone.
Among the ruins were Jennifer's toys and clothes, not to mention her parents' belongings. Her mom, Greg's wife, is in the Army Reserve, and she's currently stationed near Chicago. So as they watched the ruins smolder, the father and daughter appeared homeless and alone.
But things have been working in the Pigors’ favor too. A relative owns the house they’re staying in now. It’s one that had been sitting empty for a couple years. And then there's the community around them.
"Yes, the community has been awesome here," Pigors said.
The Groton school, where Jennifer is in third grade, held fundraisers for the family. Jennifer still misses her toys but her dad says she has more clothes now than ever, thanks to donations.
And even now, almost a month after the fire, churches in Aberdeen and Ferney are still planning events to help the family.
"Yes, it's been very, very humbling actually," Pigors said.
The Pigors are still deciding whether to rebuild or move into another house. They certainly never wanted their home destroyed. But since that January day, the family's thankful it happened in a community like theirs.
Relatives also set up a fund for people wanting to donate to the family at a bank in Groton.
Greg Pigors Family benefit
First State Bank in Groton
Donations can be mailed or dropped off.
7 East US Highway 12, Groton SD 57445