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For Meade family, it’s time to rebuild following house fire

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By Gene Sears

Despite a nasty turn of events leaving her family homeless, Michelle Meade is grateful -- grateful that they are all alive, grateful that they all escaped without serious physical harm, and grateful that they are all still together.
    “I’m alive. And my whole family is alive,” Meade said. “I just thank the Gods that they were watching over my sons, and woke him up in time, because we had just a matter of minutes.”
    Despite the gratitude, Meade is suffering from the aftereffects of that night, reliving the nightmare over and over.
    “It’s been pretty traumatic,” said Michelle Meade, of the mental anguish suffered throughout the ordeal. The lingering trauma will likely keep the family from rebuilding in Fort Lupton.
    “It is just too intense, I mean, we barely escaped with our lives,” Meade said.  “I’m having flashbacks. I already suffer from PTSD, so this is making things very difficult for me, and I just don’t think I could go back on that property. We put so many of our goals into that house; we loved that house so much.”
    A huge blow to the family was the loss of their pets, all except one saved by an FLPD fireman.
    “We lost our animals, our two beloved Goldens, our cats,” Meade continued. “They managed to rescue one cat, and that was great. It’s been really hard.”
    Until they decide their future path, the family has a temporary roof over their heads with a more suitable home in the wings.
    “Right now, we are staying at a hotel in Stapleton,” Meade said. “Our insurance found us an apartment in Longmont, and we are just waiting for them to go through the process of finalizing that.”
    Worst for Meade, after finding her children Alexandre and Brigid safe, was not knowing where her husband Jean-Michelle was, or if he managed to escape the flames.
    “I had no idea where he was, or how he was, until I saw him come out of the smoke,” Meade recalled. “He was completely black from the smoke, it was terrible.”
    A neighbor welcomed the family in from the cold, and from that point, the Meades watched their world burn, until paramedics transported them to Platte Valley Medical Center. All four suffered smoke inhalation, while Michelle suffered serious bruising leaping from the roof to escape.
    “I don’t even know how I landed, but from my knees up, its just one huge Technicolor bruise,” Meade said. “I hit my head on a rock, and I still can’t open my mouth all the way.”
    Offering high praise for the Fort Lupton Fire Protection District firefighters, Meade said the family intends to honor their rescuers at their next board meeting.
    “We are so very grateful to them, and the police also,” Meade said. “Officer Morris and my son formed a human ladder to catch my daughter when she jumped off the roof. She’s an awesome lady.”
    For now, gratitude is keeping the family afloat, until things get rolling on a new home and life.
    “We will make it,” Meade said. “By no means are we rolling in beds of dough, but I think we will make it.”

If you would like to help the Meades rebuild, visit: http://www.youcaring.com/help-a-neighbor/michelle-mead-post-fire-support....