The Giauque family lost their home on Saturday, as well as the way Alan Giauque makes a living. Now the family is looking to rebuild from the ashes.
The couple’s home, in the 1700 block of South Anns Ranch Road, caught fire when cinders from a burn barrel flew to the roof.
Alan and Cindy Giauque are active members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Later-Day Saints, volunteering to help local families whenever they can, said their daughter Cassandra Benzel. They moved to Graham County 11 years ago from Mesa to be near their children and grandchildren.
Benzel said her brother, Gary, burned his feet and suffered from smoke inhalation, but luckily didn’t need to be hospitalized.
Unfortunately, her father’s woodworking shop and the way he earns money, has been destroyed, she said. The couple didn’t have insurance.
“My mom is disabled, and my dad is a master craftsman in carpentry. He lost his shop, that’s his entire life,” Benzel said.
Up until now, Alan has been creating cabinet pieces and one-of-a-kind furniture for local churches and homes across the state, she said. Over 20 years worth of tools and equipment burned in the fire, and now the family would appreciate any type of donation, be it monetary or tools, Benzel said.
Many adults in the Safford area consider her father to be a second father, she said. He volunteered as a Boy Scout leader for more than 30 years, teaching them skills and keeping them out of trouble. Her mother is everyone’s adoptive mother, taking care of them and feeding them, Benzel said. She volunteered for several decades as a Sunday school teacher. She now has several health issues that keep her from driving and volunteering with the church.
Benzel remembers her parents’ neighbors gathering around her as the flames grew Saturday. They helped her find a place where she could see what was going on, but remain safe.
“The whole neighborhood banded together,” she said.
The outpouring of support from the community has been overwhelming, Benzel said. Community members have asked when they could help them clean up the rubble. The day of the fire, her parents accepted an invitation to stay in someone’s guest house for a couple of weeks and she has no doubt others also would have been willing to put the couple up, she said.
Although the plan is changing by the minute, Cindy said her father intends to build a new home on the property.