MO firefighter thanks all who helped him through tragedy - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

MO firefighter thanks all who helped him through tragedy

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) -

As a firefighter, it has to be your worst nightmare responding to a fire in your own home.

It happened last month in Cape Girardeau; and the firefighter's 73-year-old grandfather was killed.

Today, he wants to express his thanks to the community.

Tyler Grovenor said nothing could have prepared him for the support he received.

"Until you experience the gift of humanity firsthand you don't really truly value or appreciate what a very special gift that is,” said Grovenor.

A pile of ashes are all that's left of the space Grovenor once shared with his grandfather.

"It still doesn't seem real,” he said.

Grovenor was part of the crew that tried desperately to put out the flames at his house on a cold, rainy night in November.

They were unsuccessful in rescuing his 73-year-old grandfather, Zeno Blattle. 

Grovenor said he can still hear his loved one's voice in his head to keep moving forward.

"He always said be a hard worker, keep moving forward, don't let circumstances dictate how the rest of your life will play out,” he remembered.

In the weeks following his grandfather's death, Grovenor has worked to help his family pick of the pieces, but he said he never imaged the support his family would receive from complete strangers.

"Just the simple things that we didn't have to worry about. A t-shirt here or a deodorant or a toothbrush. Things that you don't even think about, but yet mean so much to you in a situation like this,” he said.

As a firefighter, dedicated to helping others, Grovenor said he never thought he would be on the other side of help, but is grateful to everyone who has lent a helping hand.

"Never in a million years would I have expected, nor anticipated anybody doing that nor would I ever ask for it."

Grovenor said he appreciates everything that has been done for his family and hopes folks will take his story and give back to other families in need during the holidays.

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