BOULDER, Colo. — A tight-knit Boulder County family lost three homes in the Marshall Fire. They also lost four cars and had to shut down their family Indian restaurant. With the help of our Denver7 Gives viewers, our Jaclyn Allen delivered a surprise on Wednesday.
If home is where the heart is, the Tandoori Grill is the Gill and Dhanoa family's second home.
"We've had Tandoori Gill for almost 23 years," said Gurjeet Dhanoa.
Their first homes were directly in the path of the Marshall Fire.
"It was just surreal," she said. "Your mind just keeps going, 'This isn't real. This isn't real.'"
Dhanoa and her family lived in Rock Creek, five minutes away from her parents' and brother's home in Old Town Superior. She called them to warn them the fire was approaching, and they barely made it out.
"I went to mom and got her on her oxygen," said Mandip Gill, whose mother has been recovering from chemo treatments and pneumonia. "I had to carry her out of the house and put her in the car."
In total the family lost three homes, four cars and almost everything they own.
"Even the steel beams had melted," said Gill. "There was literally nothing left, just shells of things."
The one thing that survived was Gill's father's trailer, which was stolen the day after the neighborhood was reopened.
In order to deal with the devastation, the family has shut down their restaurant
"Mentally, we need to take a timeout, and that's why we made the decision to close for a little bit," said Dhanoa.
On top of that, juggling doctor's appointments for their mother has been a challenge.
"Coordinating who can take her to the hospital at what, it's just busy on all of us," said Gill.
Denver7 Gives decided to help, thanks to generous donations to our Wildfire Relief Fund. We had a surprise for their entire family- a replacement for the car Gill lost.
Groove Auto delivered the car for free and gave an almost $1,500 discount on the retail price.
“We are thankful to be able to help support Channel 7 in their incredible efforts to support the families impacted by the fire in any way we can," said Rob Edwards, Groove's market president. "Giving back and supporting the communities where we live and work is at the core of everything we do."
For the Gill and Dhanoa family, this was a little help on a long journey.
"You realize that you need help, but you don't want to ask for it," said Dhanoa. "So people just give it to you. It's just an amazing feeling, it really is. And you don't have the words to say, 'Thank you.'"
Their words came in the form of delicious comfort food the family prepared to express their gratitude, along with a promise to re-open and rebuild in the home where their heart is.
They hope to re-open the restaurant on Saturday.
"[The car] represents us moving forward," said Gill. "It represents us rebuilding. Our heads are up, and it's forward now. We can't really think about what's behind us."
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