Dakota administrator grateful for support after losing home to fire

By: Alex Szwarc | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published October 20, 2020

 Jason Bruveris, left, is pictured with his family. The Dakota High School administrator said since the family’s home was lost to a fire in Grosse Pointe Woods, many people have stepped up to help.

Jason Bruveris, left, is pictured with his family. The Dakota High School administrator said since the family’s home was lost to a fire in Grosse Pointe Woods, many people have stepped up to help.

Photo provided by Jason Bruveris

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MACOMB TOWNSHIP/GROSSE POINTE WOODS — In the four months since a fire displaced a family, a local school administrator says they are lucky and very thankful to have all the support they’ve received.

On the evening of June 10, the Bruveris family home in Grosse Pointe Woods was consumed by a devastating fire after storms swept through the area.

The family of six — parents Jason and Natalie, and their children: Luke, Drew, Juliana and Marissa — were able to escape safely, but most of their belongings and personal possessions were destroyed.

Jason Bruveris is the Dakota High School Ninth Grade Center Assistant Principal in Macomb Township and said, aside from losing the house, so much has been going on with school and COVID-19.

He previously worked at Wyandot Middle School and Chippewa Valley High School.

Bruveris noted that as fall began, he realized he didn’t have a coat.

“We have the opportunity to buy things, but it takes a lot of time buying everything again,” Bruveris said.  

What the family was able to retrieve from the home was some clothing items and some furniture.

Bruveris estimates that about 80% of items in the home were ruined.

Within three hours of a GoFundMe page created, nearly $40,000 was raised. The goal was $50,000.

When fundraising ended in June, $88,910 had been raised.

Funds went toward purchasing clothing, shoes, furniture, bedding, linens, kitchenware and more.

Bruveris said he was brought to tears many times because of the support.

“So many people stepped up to help, not only financially, but with meals, watching the kids and cleaning,” he said. “Everyone has been helping out in their own way.

“When bad things happen, people show how much they care and you wish they did it more often. It makes you feel lucky to have good people in your life.”

The Bruveris’ were able to find a rental home in Grosse Pointe Farms a week or so after the fire.

“It’s got some good space for remote learning for the kids for them to do some independent work,” he said. “We’ll probably be there for the duration of the rebuild.”

The rebuild of their home is expected to take about one year.  

Overall, Bruveris said his children, who range in age from 4 to 10, have done a nice job of adapting after being thrown into a new environment.

“Two of my kids are very similar and get some anxiety about things,” he said. “Any day it rains or storms, my 6-year-old daughter is scared that something else is going to happen. It’s hard to rationalize with a child about how the chances of something like that happening again are so small.”    

When asked how he finds the motivation to carry on in a time like this, Bruveris said he and his wife owe it to their kids to make sure the house is restored to a safe condition.

Reflecting on the evening of the fire, Bruveris said the wind knocked down the main power line behind the house.

“That came down on the one the leads into the house which sent a surge,” he said. “The outlets and anything near it caught on fire in the girl’s bedroom.”

The family was home at the time and had lived there for 12 years.

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