Community rallies for Honeydew firefighter who lost home, pets in fire – Times-Standard

Community rallies for Honeydew firefighter who lost home, pets in fire – Times-Standard

A fundraiser campaign benefiting a Honeydew volunteer firefighter who lost his pets and his home in a fire has surpassed its initial goal.

The campaign, “Help Max ‘Timber’ Guider get back on his feet,” was created by Guider’s mother Joyce Hartley on July 19 and surpassed its goal of $10,000, with a total of $13,960 collected as of Friday afternoon.

The collected funds will go toward helping the firefighter recover. The fundraiser description mentions Guider lost his cash savings, other possessions and his two dogs, Bean and Rufio in the fire. An update on the drive mentions his ducks and goats have been recovered and given new homes.

“Everyone – thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of your contributions!” an update from Hartley partially reads. “No amount of money will bring back Rufio and Bean, but this will go a long way towards helping Max to get a new start.”

Guider shared an update on the donation page, in which he thanked backers for their generosity and provided details on his situation after the fire.

“I want to say thank you all for your generous donations. Everyone has been so kind and supportive. Many of my friends and neighbors here have given me clothes and all the other essentials, plus I have several offers of places to stay, so I am good for now. I started back to work on Friday, and I am keeping busy with working on clean-up on my landlord’s property, too. I just need to stay busy and not dwell on what happened, even though losing our dogs really hurt. One of these days I hope to be able to thank you all individually. Your support really means a lot to me,” he wrote.

The property Guider was living in was completely consumed by flames on the afternoon of July 18 while he was away from home. It is believed the fire was caused by a propane leak which exploded.

Several agencies from the area responded to the incident, including the Honeydew Volunteer Fire Department, Petrolia Fire Department, Rio Dell Fire Department, Telegraph Ridge Fire Department and Cal Fire, which provided aerial support.

The fire is believed to have been triggered by a propane leak. (Contributed photo — Lauren Schmitt)

Guider was living on the property in exchange for upkeep and fuel reduction work on the site, landlord Kate Trower told the Times-Standard. Trower is also an emergency dispatcher and treasurer of the Honeydew Volunteer Fire Department.

She believes the fuel reduction work around the property was key in preventing the fire from spreading.

“If he had not done that work, I think the fire could have been much worse,” she said.

Trower is happy to see the fundraiser goal be met and surpassed.

“It’s all about community, and that’s what we do,” she said. “I’m very happy.”

Guider has worked with the Honeydew Volunteer Fire Department since his arrival to the area in 2017, rising to the rank of captain.

“He’s earned that position,” Trower stated.

Lauren Schmitt, a friend of Guider, helped spread word of the fundraiser. She believes it is significant to help out someone who devotes themselves to protecting people from fires when these affect their lives.

“Volunteer firefighters, you know, volunteer their lives to protect the community. So when they become the fire victims themselves, I think it just is more important than ever to support that individual, especially being a local hero that saves lives,” she said.

The GoFundMe donation drive in benefit of Guider is still active at

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