Wedding Plans Dashed in Carlton Motel Fire
Posted at: 12/25/2012 9:50 AM
| Updated at: 12/26/2012 10:34 AM
By: Dayna Landgrebe
Call it a woman's worst nightmare. A devastating motel fire on Christmas Eve has not only taken away several families' homes, but plans for an upcoming wedding.
Dawn Wernake was working on Christmas Eve at Liberalis Women's Chemical Health Services in Carlton. She's a nurse, and she said she was looking forward to getting off work to celebrate Christmas. But when her fiancé finally reached her at work on Monday night, it wasn't good news. He was alerting her that the place she'd been staying at was on fire.
"The first thing I thought about was my cat," Wernake said. "I was more worried about him than everything."
Then, she said, the realization also hit about all the things inside.
She's set to be married on next Tuesday on New Year's Eve. Her gifts for the wedding party and decorations were inside her room at the Royal Pines Motel. She's been staying in the Carlton motel while she waits for the sale to close on a home she's buying.
Wernake choked back tears as she talked about the loss of things like the poinsettias she'd bought for the ceremony, commemorating the memory of both her and her fiancé's fathers.
But despite the loss, she said she's trying to see through this.
"Stuff... can be replaced, but at the same time... my plans. The wedding's less than a week away and it's going to be ok, no matter what, I know, but I'm just sad," she said.
She said the next step is concentrating on spending what's left of the holiday with her one of her two daughters, and looking forward to the week ahead.
"You know, New Years Eve was going to be a great time, and it will be. It will be a good time for a wedding and starting a new life."
Wernake also said she's thankful for a firefighter who took a risk to save that cat from her room.
"I'm just happy to have my goofy cat," she said with a laugh. "I'm one of those Christmas Eve fire stories. You just don't think its going to happen."
Donations for Wernake or any of the fire victims are being accepted at the Golden Gate Motel in Scanlon where the families will be staying.
If you want to donate:
The Golden Gate Motel is located 3202 River Gate Avenue in Scanlon just off Interstate 35. The phone number is (218) 879-8000.