A Christmas miracle

By on December 27, 2017

The Dec. 17 barn fire in Elizabeth Township not only destroyed the structure, but took the lives of a dog, her puppies, and a mule. The barn was rebuilt within a week.

Life changed quickly, just a week before Christmas, for an Elizabeth Township family.

On Sunday, Dec. 17, a raging fire destroyed Daniel King’s barn and some of the animals inside. A dog, her puppies, and a mule all perished.

King was not home when the blaze began, just before 1 p.m., at 126 Snavely Mill Road. Firefighters on the scene had no initial information that the animals were inside, according to Brunnerville Assistant Fire Chief Jeff Garner.

Tragedy turned to triumph only a few days later as the Amish community stepped up to rebuild the King’s barn. Just days before Christmas, the new barn was complete, from foundation to metal roof.

King, who has been on the other end of the equation in helping others rebuild, said the blessing was truly fantastic. Some would say, a Christmas miracle.

“I didn’t realize enough what it means at a time like this,” he said.

The Amish community stepped up quickly to rebuild the King barn.

He was overwhelmed by the outpouring of kindness last Thursday as a small army of workers hammered, cut, and hoisted lumber while framing the new barn.

“These people all sacrificed,” he said. “They all have jobs to do and families to support.”

As amazing as the site was to see, King said it is not unusual in the Amish community.

“The community was here all the time,” he explained. “They didn’t just wake up when the fire burned down.”

King said the women and men arrived early in the morning and worked until dark.

“Everybody in some little way helping,” he said. “It’s amazing.”

The story intrigued many who saw and shared a video on the Record Express Facebook page.

“Great to see community in action,” said Mark Gaudlip.

“What a Christmas blessing for the King family,” said Trish Kohlasch.

“Nothing like a community working together,” added Nancie Bescript.

Cathleen Straube-Gassew summed it up in one word: “Amazing!”

King said he was blessed with nice weather last week, but the ground was wet and muddy. Still, the rebuild was complete by Saturday morning, two days before Christmas.

“It strengthens the community,” King said. “It binds us together.”

A good old-fashioned Amish barn-raising was an early Christmas present for Daniel King and family
last week.

Patrick Burns is a staff writer for the Lititz Record Express. He welcomes your questions and comments and can be reached at pburns.eph@lnpnews.com or at 717-721-4455.


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