Natalie Skilliter and her fiancé Dustin Garrett lost nearly everything in a Saskatoon house fire two months before their wedding.
Skilliter recalled a popping sound at around 1:45 a.m. CT on April 14 and Garrett went to find the source of the noise.
“Fire just came out at him from the garage,” she recalled.
The flames eventually destroyed the Carr Crescent home and spread to a nearby house, causing $525,000 in damage and leaving the couple’s possessions charred beyond recognition.
The blaze remains under investigation.
Skilliter, Garrett, their dog and three friends staying over escaped without harm and the contents were insured.
Skilliter turned to a Facebook group, seeking votives, charger plates and brass pieces, among other items for their wedding in June.
She’s experienced an “overwhelming” response, with more than 100 Facebook shares and dozens of people offering things for free.
Firefighters recovered her engagement ring, but her wedding dress couldn’t be salvaged. The store where she purchased the gown and her bridal stylist have assured Skilliter they’ll have a replacement for the big day.
The bride-to-be expressed appreciation for every offer, but said she’s most thankful no one was hurt.
“It doesn’t matter if we have plates or candles at our wedding. It doesn’t matter. We’ll be there and our family will be there,” Skilliter said.
“It will just be that much more of a celebration, that we’re all here and it’s all OK.”
The couple is staying with family, but is looking for a rental home while they begin to rebuild the house on Carr Crescent.
“We’re here to help with whatever they need whenever they need it, just to try to keep their minds off it, but it’s easier said than done,” Garrett’s sister Alysha Robb said.
Anyone who would like to help Skilliter and Garrett can do so on the Saskatoon & Area Wedding Buy And Sell Facebook page.