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Community rallies around Froese family following Kane fire

WINNIPEG – People from as far away as Toronto and Calgary have called Manitoba, looking for ways to help the Kane family whose four boys died in a fire early Wednesday.

Froese boys Henry, 9, Danny, 10, Timmy, 12, and Bobby, 15, were asleep in their second-storey bedrooms when the fire broke out around midnight. Their mother rescued their three younger siblings and their father was badly injured when he tried to get into the home after he and the oldest boy, who’s 18, returned from work to a home engulfed in flames. Father Jake Froese is still in hospital.

READ MORE: 4 boys killed in house fire west of Morris, Manitoba

A home has been found for the family and household goods and clothing are being collected by volunteers. A five-member board has been created to administer donations made through the local credit union and a local church.

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More than $20,000 had been donated at the Access Credit Union by Thursday afternoon and calls had come in from as far as Toronto and Calgary, credit union manager Dennis Matthies said.

“Our response has been really good,” he said. “This is going to keep going for a while.”

READ MORE: How you can help Froese family who lost 4 boys in Kane, Manitoba fire

Matthies knows the family, the firefighters and people involved in post-fire work at the site, as do others in the community. It has touched everyone, he said.

Frank Krahn, who employs Jake Froese and son Steven, 18, at Tri Koating in Winkler, said everyone is in shock.

“When we heard the news, we said, ‘No, not our Jake,’ “ Krahn said. “We know he’ll never be the same again. How can he be?”

— With files from Lorraine Nickel