Brock Ballweber and Grant Sundquist have been friends since high school.

Sundquist was Ballweber's best man at his wedding, and Ballweber is Sundquist's daughter's godfather. Their wives, Ashley and Kellye, are good friends as well.

And after a house fire on Sunday claimed the life of the Ballwebers' dog, Duke, the families' friendship is as strong as ever. The Sundquists started crowdfunding efforts to help with any additional costs from the fire affecting their friends. As of Wednesday evening, their GoFundMe account had raised more than half of its $20,000 goal.

"It's pretty gnarly at the house," Grant Sundquist said. "I have a belief that insurance companies will do as much as they can, but there's many difficult situations. Insurance companies have to make very difficult decisions on what to cover and what not to cover."

Since the fire, the Ballwebers have stayed with family in Bismarck. Ballweber said Wednesday that nothing of his home's top floor is salvageable while the house will be gutted to the studs or maybe more. Basement flooring will also be ripped out and replaced. Some appliances were OK. Sundquist said the loss of many everyday items isn't easy.

"You take for granted some of the simple amenities and comforts that you utilize on a day-in-and-day-out basis, and all of that is either burnt, melted or covered in soot," Sundquist said.

Ballweber said he was humbled by the support his family received immediately after the fire. Now, he's also grateful for the Sundquists' efforts.

"(Grant) is the most loyal person I've ever met," Ballweber said. "There are people who send sympathies and ask how they can help, but then there are certain people like Grant. They're just doers."

Sundquist said he can only do so much as one person but the efforts of friends, family, neighbors and others have helped build the relief fund since it started the day after the fire.

"The power of the crowd is a lot greater than the power of myself," he said, adding that more than 125 people have contributed, including some from out of state.

As the cleaning restoration process begins on his home, Ballweber said it's nice to see some good in a world often painted with gloomy headlines.

"The vast majority of the world is a pretty good place filled with good people," he said.

Reach Jack Dura at 701-250-8225 or jack.dura@bismarcktribune.com.

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