LAKE TAHOE (CBS13) – After losing nearly everything in the Tamarack Fire burning in Markleeville, one family is choosing to find the silver lining after a dark tragedy.
After evacuating, Chris Seal watched the news coverage as it showed crackling flames, engulfed homes and burned-through cars. He realized some of the scenery seemed familiar.READ MORE: Mayor Steinberg Releases Master Plan To House Homeless
“I was like, ‘That looks like our house,’ ” Seal said.
His family’s rental home was charred and smoldering. The Markleeville family of four had lost everything they left behind.
Seal, a Tahoe musician, lost several instruments in the blaze – and his home studio. With music as his livelihood and outlet, he’s working to replace the items no longer in his possession – and the entire family works to process the tragedy.
“We’ve never been through this. We’re all trying to grieve and process in different stages,” said Marshauna Mikelionis, Seal’s wife.READ MORE: Keep Tahoe Blue: Team Of Divers Collect 8,000 Pounds Of Trash In 25 Days
Thankfully, though, their family is safe – especially their kids Everett and Ellington. Together, they all found they have a strong community to lean on.
“Other people down there have had that loss. Hopefully we can come to support each other,” said Mikelionis.
The family is overwhelmed by donations, and people offering up places for them to stay. In a matter of days, a GoFundMe created by a close friend in Grass Valley collected more than $45,000.
“Something like this happens and you’re just made aware of the love and support you really do have,” said Seal.MORE NEWS: Tree Trimmers In Short Supply As People Prepare For Fires
As they find the light in the darkest of times, Seal and Mikelionis said they know they’re not alone and hope to see support for all of the Tamarack Fire victims – including their friends, the Galvez family – who are in the same predicament.