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An apartment building in Texas burned down as firefighters rushed for water.

SAN ANTONIO – A 32-unit apartment complex near San Antonio burned from Thursday night to Friday morning as fire hydrants dried up after a winter storm that disrupted water supplies to millions of Texans.

Instead, firefighters were forced to rely on water from a nearby stream, which the trunks of tankers delivered via narrow, icy roads. These trucks were filling a containment pool in the apartment complex, but it could only provide water for a few minutes at a time.

“When we opened the fire hydrant, there was only air,” said Chief Jerry Bialick of the Bexar-Bulverde Volunteer Fire Department.

For hours, 125 firefighters from 16 departments fought the flames that threatened two neighboring buildings. On Thursday, residents stood in the cold and watched their homes burn down. Some tenants returned to inspect the smoking rubble on Friday.

About 130 people lost their homes.

“The firefighters were attacking the fire as best they could, but they were running out of water,” said Steve Henshaw, 48, who lived in the building with his wife and said they hadn’t had any water since Monday.

Mike Brinkmann, vice president of distribution and collections for the San Antonio Water System, said a prolonged power outage, combined with freezing temperatures, meant the utility was unable to pump water to a reservoir storage that feeds the apartment complex.

In normal power outages, which can linger for a day or two, there is enough water in the tank to last until power returns, but this week’s unusually long outage has drained the tank. Mr Brinkmann also said that the water left in the apartment’s sprinkler system was likely frozen due to insufficient pipe insulation.

Residents said they smelled something burnt Thursday afternoon. When firefighters arrived, a witness said he discovered that the heating element inside a water heater was operating without water in the system.

About two hours later, the apartment management company sent a text message asking residents to turn off the circuit breakers on their water heaters. Shortly after sending the email, firefighters discovered smoke rising between a tub and a wall.

Chief Bialick said the cause of the blaze remained unknown, but the blaze quickly spread.

The inability to get water from the fire hydrants “was literally like walking into a boxing ring with a hand and a half tied behind your back,” said Ken Jarvis, a public information officer for the service. fire.

Mr Henshaw and his wife, Joann Henshaw, escaped with their laptops. But Ms Henshaw, with tears in her eyes, said she left her wedding ring on the counter. Mr Henshaw, whose 73-year-old mother lived in another apartment in the building, said he lost valuable items from his time in the Air Force.

“Texas was not prepared for the winter storm,” said Ms. Henshaw, 49. “It froze our pipes. This is what ultimately led to the fire. It’s truly sad.”

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He already saw the election as good against evil. Then his tractor burned down.

HENDERSON, Neb. – Jonathan Rempel has never been a big mouth in town about his politics, but his opinions are clear when he asks rhetorical questions such as, “Have you ever gotten a job from a poor person?” Or when he says taxes are a form of extortion. They appear on Facebook, where some of his posts support gun rights and criticize a welfare state.

It was even possible to share his political outlook across a field, from the two “Trump 2020” flags he had hoisted above his combine – until a few weeks ago. , when a fire destroyed much of his farm equipment.

In Mr. Rempel’s farming community in Henderson and in the countryside that makes up much of the majority Republican state of Nebraska, people say President Trump represents their deepest beliefs. And these firmly held beliefs exist in a good versus evil framework in which many see issues like abortion, immigration and what to them is the Chinese nation exploiting commerce and spreading the virus on the most austere terms.

Almost four years ago, in his victory speech on election night, Mr. Trump pledged to stand up for “the hard-working men and women who love their country and want a better future and brighter for themselves and for their families ”.

“The forgotten men and women of our country,” he promised at the time, “will no longer be forgotten.”

Presidential supporters in places like rural Nebraska say they feel remembered. For them, these four years have brought a sense of belonging to a country ruled by someone who stands up for and understands their dearest beliefs. For more than 50% of Americans who disapprove of the president, Mr. Trump may represent division and dishonesty. In Henderson, and in many places like it, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s campaign speech that he is fighting for the soul of the nation simply does not resonate. People here would consider his soul to be in danger if he triumphs.

Thousands of Mr. Trump’s supporters showed him their dedication last week as they solemnly rushed against a cold autumn wind, a few hours of travel, to hear him speak at a campaign event in Omaha , one of a series of rallies to stop the scares across the country where supporters have come together in one denomination some of the values ​​of each.

“Always watch where I am,” a man coached a young girl in coveralls, telling her to stay close as they held hands and squeezed through the Omaha crowd while waiting for Mr. Trump. “But these are Trump supporters. You do not have to worry.

This feeling of Trumpian kinship permeates rural areas like Henderson, a population of around 1,000, with its two downtown blocks, flaming red oaks, silver grain silos, and artwork on the next to a Main Street building that reads: “Some are bigger, nothing better.” “

This is what made the phone call Mr Rempel received about two weeks ago from firefighters as he and his wife were preparing their children for school all the more shocking. His farm equipment was on fire. The combine, a tractor and two semi-trailers parked in a cornfield south of town had apparently been set on fire.

Keep up with Election 2020

“I said, ‘No it’s not possible,’ recalls Mr. Rempel, a fourth generation farmer, describing his disbelief that his equipment had been destroyed and his corn crop was in. danger.

Mr. Rempel will not speculate on the motive for what he believes is arson; the state fire marshal only said he was investigating the incident.

The charred remains of his farm vehicles lie in a field surrounded by miles of plowed meadow. A blackened Trump flag is crumpled at the base of a burnt tractor. Mr. Rempel had been so sure they were safe, he left the keys in the ignition.

While it is not known how the fire started, the news about it surprised a community that believes it shares a common value system. The fact that one vehicle was fitted with Trump flags led some residents and some of the more than 1,700 people who commented on Mr. Rempel’s Facebook post about the fire to declare the fire for political reasons.

It is a sentiment also expressed by the best Republicans in the state. Gov. Pete Ricketts spoke of the incident when asked at a press conference about pro-Trump billboard vandalism, calling anyone who would do such a thing “anti-American” and “people who hate our country”. Senator Ben Sasse, whose recently leaked comments criticizing President Trump were viewed by many Republicans in Nebraska as blasphemy, also called the incident “heinous.”

For his part, Mr. Rempel refuses to speculate on a motive, but here in Henderson, a certain fear is whispered: the fire starters are aligned with the antifa, coming from the cities to attack their way of life.

“Anytime you see something on fire that’s been kindled on purpose, or anytime you see a business destroyed, anytime you see someone making a point with violence, it’s wrong,” said Mr. Rempel. “And evil destroyed.”

Like most other states, Nebraska is divided by an urban-rural divide. Mr. Trump has garnered overwhelming support from the state as a whole. But residents of Nebraska’s two major cities tend to vote more liberally than those in rural areas. Mr. Trump won in Omaha’s second congressional district in 2016, but Barack Obama won it in 2008. The district winner collects only one electoral vote in a state that, unlike most others, divides its vote, which could play a central role in an upcoming election.

Omaha is 187 miles from York County, where Henderson is located and where Mr. Trump in 2016 won by a landslide. Most people in the county say they vote for him again – and most plan to go to the polls in person on Tuesday as they always do on Election Day.

“I like what he represents. He is against abortion. He is against evil. He is against higher taxes. said Pat Goossen, who owns The Petal Pusher, a flower shop on Main Street in Henderson. “He shares my values. I don’t want higher taxes. I don’t want our jobs to disappear.

Ms Goossen observed the violence that accompanied some of the protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death on the Evening News. The images gave the impression that entire cities were on fire. This summer, violent protests erupted in Omaha, where a black man was killed by a white business owner as people marched against racial injustice. But the protests did not reach Henderson.

Although the president refused to speak out against white supremacy, Ms Goossen, who is white like most of her neighbors in Henderson, said she could not believe the president was linked with violent explosions at rallies against racial injustice.

“Do you honestly think he caused the fire and the riots? Are you out of your still loving mind? He didn’t, ”she said. “He was a victim, just like us.”

Ms Goossen and other Mr Trump supporters speak reverently about the president’s clear speech, the fact that he is not a typical pontificate politician, the way he, a New York real estate mogul, can relate to all strata of society.

The president took to the job sites and spoke to workers “hauling drywall and raising steel,” said Blake Collingsworth, who runs a house building company in Lincoln.

“You have to be for the little guy,” Mr. Collingsworth said. “He understands this part of society and how important the person who works is.”

People like Tim Esch, a rancher from Spalding, remember the pain in the 1980s caused by President Jimmy Carter’s Soviet grain embargo, which brought down prices for corn and wheat. Mr. Trump’s trade policies with China have also been difficult for farmers, he said, but will pay off in the long run.

Some of Mr. Trump’s plans haven’t worked, he said, but his actions show he listened to farmers’ concerns.

“All this China stuff, Trump just supported,” Mr. Esch said.

Like Mr. Esch, many Republicans in Nebraska believe the Democratic Party is using the pandemic as a political tool against the president. Coronavirus cases are skyrocketing here; church prayer lists include long lists of names of those who are suffering. In Henderson, the virus ended up in a nursing home and affected several families.

But on farms where the nearest house is miles away, concerns about the disease seem distant.

“I have bigger problems than a virus that 99.9% of us can overcome without medical intervention,” said Rempel who, like most people in the area, does not always wear a mask. when gathered with others.

Mr. Rempel enjoys the feeling of seclusion of being on the farm, where he can move around in the cab of his combine harvester or behind the wheel of his pickup truck, bouncing on gravel roads.

“I love being in a flying country. I love this. I kiss her, ”Mr. Rempel said, walking through his rows of corn and rubbing each bent stalk. “I lived in Omaha. No one knew who you were. You can do whatever you want. You could go and steal a car, hit a pole and run away without anyone caring.

Rural life, he said, offers responsibilities to people who share a set of values. To be surrounded by parents, grandparents, those “who are proud of you”, is to anchor. It’s something he thinks lost in the big cities.

The fire caused Mr Rempel to focus on dividing the country, which he said he was tired of even though he knows his views are drastically different from those of many who support Mr Biden.

“Everyone wants to put people in a box so that we can decide right away if we hate you. You are a Trump supporter! You are a supporter of Biden! We hate you! “He said.” We have to let go of this as a country. You are who you are, and I am who I am, and I can love you even if I don’t agree with you.

In Henderson, word quickly spread among all the farmers about Mr. Rempel’s burning equipment. Everyone knew that this came at a crucial time when the corn had to be harvested and transported to the market. The urgency was all the greater for Mr. Rempel whose wife was a few days before the due date with the couple’s third child.

Neighbors and church friends brought homemade cinnamon casseroles and buns. Mr. Rempel’s sister created a GoFundMe page titled “Burned Farmer” where donations exceeded $ 100,000.

And under a silvery sky of a recent freezing dawn, a line of combines and tractors rumbled over the horizon and stopped in gravel terrain. About 20 farmers got out of their vehicles and gathered for a prayer before going to work. They came from nearby farms and as far away as Colorado to help Mr. Rempel finish his harvest.

“Welcome to my life,” Mr. Rempel said, taking it all in, “where people are good.”

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Signs get ripped, kicked, burned as political battle hits the front lawn

CHICAGO – In Illinois, Florida and Arizona, police have been summoned to investigate the burnt Biden signs and Trump’s flags swept overnight. Homeowners, angry at the disappearance of their campaign signs, installed sophisticated motion-activated cameras to catch the culprits. A sneaky few have signs trapped with sharp razor blades glowing beneath.

A few days before the presidential election, Americans are lining up against each other, sometimes directly on their own turf.

“There’s just a lot of bad feelings now, and that’s what it is about,” said Annie Phillips, 82, a retired educator from the Seattle suburbs who had two robbed. Biden signs in his front yard. “I hold my breath until the election is settled.”

Fed up after taking her second sign, Ms Phillips bought a third one and nailed it to her garage door.

Americans are seething with tension and terror. They endured a long combative campaign amid a pandemic and a complicated voting process with an uncertain outcome.

Both parties report acts of political vandalism.

Paul Barden, of Normandy Park, Wash., Was walking around his house on a quiet street last month when an unknown white car, slowing to stop outside, briefly caught his attention through the window.

He hardly thought about it until later, when he stepped outside and made an infuriating discovery: his brand new Trump flag, neatly hung earlier in the day from tiny hooks under the eaves, was gone. Whoever stole it was long gone.

“A discreet thief,” he said on the Nextdoor application, informing his neighbors of the incident.

For Mr. Barden, a former Republican state official who had served in the Marines, the incident has distilled everything that seemed to be happening around him in the country lately. A lack of courtesy and decorum. A growing sense of chaos.

“And yet, I hadn’t noticed it happening in my little corner of the world,” Barden said last week. “Until my flag is taken.”

Skirmishes over garden signs, flags, and other expressions of candidate loyalty emerge regularly every election season, but this year looks more intense.

In Volusia County, Fla., A neighbor punched another in the face because he believed his own Trump sign was being blocked by his neighbor’s Biden sign, authorities said.

Trump-Pence signs have been degraded with stickers. Biden-Harris signs were cut down in the grass. In central Iowa, a Trump sign along a freeway was partially covered with a sheet of black metal spray painted with a Bible verse: “Love one another. John 15. ”On a country road in northeastern Wisconsin this fall, a large Biden sign was pockmarked with fist-sized holes, clipped shutters fluttering in the wind.

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A Trump panel, trapped with hidden razor blades, injured a Michigan worker moving him because he was placed too close to a road, sending him to hospital to have his bloody hand stitched up .

The uproar comes as demand for campaign signs has exploded in some areas. Steven Slugocki, president of the Democratic Party of Maricopa County, Arizona, said he received ten times more requests for signs than in 2016.

“It’s this interesting dynamic because everyone wants a sign, but people get a sign and it gets robbed,” he said. “It makes people a little more hesitant to put it up, especially in the front yard, but demand has skyrocketed.”

Scott Dressel, public information officer for the Highland County, Florida Sheriff’s Department, is so fed up with the sign wars in his county that he took to Facebook with a message begging residents to drop him .

“I guess that’s a message we’re going to have to get out every election season from now on because people don’t know how to behave like rational adults: DON’T STEAL OR DISTURB CAMPAIGN SIGNS,” he wrote. . (He suggested they vote, write a letter to the editor, or cover their cars with political stickers instead.)

Mr Dressel said he was taken aback by the events of the previous weekend.

One particular neighborhood, which happened to be his, was hit hard by people stealing Biden signs. Shortly after, someone – or people – degraded a line of Trump signs on a major highway through the county.

“They sprayed a big ‘X’ on them, sprayed other things on them that I can’t repeat,” Mr. Dressel said. “We realize that everyone is tense. I am 50 years old and I have never seen such an antagonistic presidential election.

Entire roads have been turned into battlefields of billboards.

In Murrysville, Pennsylvania, the “Route 22 battle royale,” as described by the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, began innocently enough. On one side of the road, Mr. Trump’s supporters have transformed an old living room into a “Trump Victory Center,” decked out in red, white and blue. Less than half a mile away, pro-Biden volunteers staked a lot in a medical office building, with a cutout of the former vice president, smiling and wearing a blue mask.

When local Republicans staged a rally that was to draw hundreds of cars along Highway 22, Democrats carried out a “blitz,” lining the road with signs supporting Biden-Harris.

“It looks like a war,” said Michelle McFall, a local Democratic organizer who helped form the grassroots group for Mr. Biden. “People hold their ground as they would in combat, and they strategically plan their actions and counter-actions.”

The next day, Republicans launched “Drain the Swamp” counter messages aimed at Mr. Biden’s long political career.

Jill Cooper, the local president of the Trump Victory Center on Route 22, said they were working hard to vote and positioned themselves on a main road to send a message to Republican voters.

“They can be proud to support the president, that they are not racist, they are not xenophobic, they are not sexist, things that the media and other people always accuse us of,” Ms. Cooper said. “That’s why we are on 22, where 30,000 cars pass per day. We want them to know: ‘You are not alone.’ “

On a farm in western Massachusetts last month, an act of countryside destruction went far beyond sweeping signs back and forth.

Ruth Crane and her husband, Dicken, who is a fourth generation farmer, decided to spray paint a hay bale display with the words ‘Biden Harris’, letting passing motorists know their support for the Democratic presidential ticket.

It wasn’t until the next day that Ms Crane got a frantic call: someone had set the bullets on fire, burning the entire display to the floor.

The community, a mix of Republicans and Democrats, has provided donations and messages of support for the Cranes. A man was quickly arrested and charged with the crime.

“It was a bit of a wake-up call for people,” Ms. Crane said. “We got this message from many people on both sides who said, ‘This is out of control.’”

Reporting was contributed by Sarah Mervosh and Rebecca R. Ruiz in New York, and Johnny diaz In Miami.

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He already saw the election as good against evil. Then his tractor burned down.

HENDERSON, Neb. – Jonathan Rempel has never been a big mouth in town about his politics, but his opinions are clear when he asks rhetorical questions such as, “Have you ever gotten a job from a poor person?” Or when he says taxes are a form of extortion. They appear on Facebook, where some of his posts support gun rights and criticize a welfare state.

It was even possible to share his political outlook across a field, from the two “Trump 2020” flags he had hoisted above his combine – until a few weeks ago. , when a fire destroyed much of his farm equipment.

In Mr. Rempel’s farming community in Henderson and in the countryside that makes up much of the majority Republican state of Nebraska, people say President Trump represents their deepest beliefs. And these firmly held beliefs exist in a good versus evil framework in which many see issues like abortion, immigration and what to them is the Chinese nation exploiting commerce and spreading the virus on the most austere terms.

Almost four years ago, in his victory speech on election night, Mr. Trump pledged to stand up for “the hard-working men and women who love their country and want a better future and brighter for themselves and for their families ”.

“The forgotten men and women of our country,” he promised at the time, “will no longer be forgotten.”

Presidential supporters in places like rural Nebraska say they feel remembered. For them, these four years have brought a sense of belonging to a country ruled by someone who stands up for and understands their dearest beliefs. For more than 50% of Americans who disapprove of the president, Mr. Trump may represent division and dishonesty. In Henderson, and in many places like it, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s campaign speech that he is fighting for the soul of the nation simply does not resonate. People here would consider his soul to be in danger if he triumphs.

Thousands of Mr. Trump’s supporters showed him their dedication last week as they solemnly rushed against a cold autumn wind, a few hours of travel, to hear him speak at a campaign event in Omaha , one of a series of rallies to stop the scares across the country where supporters have come together in one denomination some of the values ​​of each.

“Always watch where I am,” a man coached a young girl in coveralls, telling her to stay close as they held hands and squeezed through the Omaha crowd while waiting for Mr. Trump. “But these are Trump supporters. You do not have to worry.

This feeling of Trumpian kinship permeates rural areas like Henderson, a population of around 1,000, with its two downtown blocks, flaming red oaks, silver grain silos, and artwork on the next to a Main Street building that reads: “Some are bigger, nothing better.” “

This is what made the phone call Mr Rempel received about two weeks ago from firefighters as he and his wife were preparing their children for school all the more shocking. His farm equipment was on fire. The combine, a tractor and two semi-trailers parked in a cornfield south of town had apparently been set on fire.

Keep up with Election 2020

“I said, ‘No it’s not possible,’ recalls Mr. Rempel, a fourth generation farmer, describing his disbelief that his equipment had been destroyed and his corn crop was in. danger.

Mr. Rempel will not speculate on the motive for what he believes is arson; the state fire marshal only said he was investigating the incident.

The charred remains of his farm vehicles lie in a field surrounded by miles of plowed meadow. A blackened Trump flag is crumpled at the base of a burnt tractor. Mr. Rempel had been so sure they were safe, he left the keys in the ignition.

While it is not known how the fire started, the news about it surprised a community that believes it shares a common value system. The fact that one vehicle was fitted with Trump flags led some residents and some of the more than 1,700 people who commented on Mr. Rempel’s Facebook post about the fire to declare the fire for political reasons.

It is a sentiment also expressed by the best Republicans in the state. Gov. Pete Ricketts spoke of the incident when asked at a press conference about pro-Trump billboard vandalism, calling anyone who would do such a thing “anti-American” and “people who hate our country”. Senator Ben Sasse, whose recently leaked comments criticizing President Trump were viewed by many Republicans in Nebraska as blasphemy, also called the incident “heinous.”

For his part, Mr. Rempel refuses to speculate on a motive, but here in Henderson, a certain fear is whispered: the fire starters are aligned with the antifa, coming from the cities to attack their way of life.

“Anytime you see something on fire that’s been kindled on purpose, or anytime you see a business destroyed, anytime you see someone making a point with violence, it’s wrong,” said Mr. Rempel. “And evil destroyed.”

Like most other states, Nebraska is divided by an urban-rural divide. Mr. Trump has garnered overwhelming support from the state as a whole. But residents of Nebraska’s two major cities tend to vote more liberally than those in rural areas. Mr. Trump won in Omaha’s second congressional district in 2016, but Barack Obama won it in 2008. The district winner collects only one electoral vote in a state that, unlike most others, divides its vote, which could play a central role in an upcoming election.

Omaha is 187 miles from York County, where Henderson is located and where Mr. Trump in 2016 won by a landslide. Most people in the county say they vote for him again – and most plan to go to the polls in person on Tuesday as they always do on Election Day.

“I like what he represents. He is against abortion. He is against evil. He is against higher taxes. said Pat Goossen, who owns The Petal Pusher, a flower shop on Main Street in Henderson. “He shares my values. I don’t want higher taxes. I don’t want our jobs to disappear.

Ms Goossen observed the violence that accompanied some of the protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death on the Evening News. The images gave the impression that entire cities were on fire. This summer, violent protests erupted in Omaha, where a black man was killed by a white business owner as people marched against racial injustice. But the protests did not reach Henderson.

Although the president refused to speak out against white supremacy, Ms Goossen, who is white like most of her neighbors in Henderson, said she could not believe the president was linked with violent explosions at rallies against racial injustice.

“Do you honestly think he caused the fire and the riots? Are you out of your still loving mind? He didn’t, ”she said. “He was a victim, just like us.”

Ms Goossen and other Mr Trump supporters speak reverently about the president’s clear speech, the fact that he is not a typical pontificate politician, the way he, a New York real estate mogul, can relate to all strata of society.

The president took to the job sites and spoke to workers “hauling drywall and raising steel,” said Blake Collingsworth, who runs a house building company in Lincoln.

“You have to be for the little guy,” Mr. Collingsworth said. “He understands this part of society and how important the person who works is.”

People like Tim Esch, a rancher from Spalding, remember the pain in the 1980s caused by President Jimmy Carter’s Soviet grain embargo, which brought down prices for corn and wheat. Mr. Trump’s trade policies with China have also been difficult for farmers, he said, but will pay off in the long run.

Some of Mr. Trump’s plans haven’t worked, he said, but his actions show he listened to farmers’ concerns.

“All this China stuff, Trump just supported,” Mr. Esch said.

Like Mr. Esch, many Republicans in Nebraska believe the Democratic Party is using the pandemic as a political tool against the president. Coronavirus cases are skyrocketing here; church prayer lists include long lists of names of those who are suffering. In Henderson, the virus ended up in a nursing home and affected several families.

But on farms where the nearest house is miles away, concerns about the disease seem distant.

“I have bigger problems than a virus that 99.9% of us can overcome without medical intervention,” said Rempel who, like most people in the area, does not always wear a mask. when gathered with others.

Mr. Rempel enjoys the feeling of seclusion of being on the farm, where he can move around in the cab of his combine harvester or behind the wheel of his pickup truck, bouncing on gravel roads.

“I love being in a flying country. I love this. I kiss her, ”Mr. Rempel said, walking through his rows of corn and rubbing each bent stalk. “I lived in Omaha. No one knew who you were. You can do whatever you want. You could go and steal a car, hit a pole and run away without anyone caring.

Rural life, he said, offers responsibilities to people who share a set of values. To be surrounded by parents, grandparents, those “who are proud of you”, is to anchor. It’s something he thinks lost in the big cities.

The fire caused Mr Rempel to focus on dividing the country, which he said he was tired of even though he knows his views are drastically different from those of many who support Mr Biden.

“Everyone wants to put people in a box so that we can decide right away if we hate you. You are a Trump supporter! You are a supporter of Biden! We hate you! “He said.” We have to let go of this as a country. You are who you are, and I am who I am, and I can love you even if I don’t agree with you.

In Henderson, word quickly spread among all the farmers about Mr. Rempel’s burning equipment. Everyone knew that this came at a crucial time when the corn had to be harvested and transported to the market. The urgency was all the greater for Mr. Rempel whose wife was a few days before the due date with the couple’s third child.

Neighbors and church friends brought homemade cinnamon casseroles and buns. Mr. Rempel’s sister created a GoFundMe page titled “Burned Farmer” where donations exceeded $ 100,000.

And under a silvery sky of a recent freezing dawn, a line of combines and tractors rumbled over the horizon and stopped in gravel terrain. About 20 farmers got out of their vehicles and gathered for a prayer before going to work. They came from nearby farms and as far away as Colorado to help Mr. Rempel finish his harvest.

“Welcome to my life,” Mr. Rempel said, taking it all in, “where people are good.”