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July 12, 2019
RUMNEY A fire in Rumney last week destroyed a residence on N. Dorchester Road (Route 118), leaving a mother and her four children with only the clothes on their backs, but luckily no one was injured in the blaze.

Chief David Coursey said his department was dispatched to the scene just before 8 a.m. on Tuesday, July 2, and when they arrived, the first thing they noticed was a car in the driveway.

"We saw the car in the yard, and I thought we could have real problems. I was afraid that at that time of day there could be people trapped inside," Coursey said.

A first alarm response was underway from five other area fire departments so one of the first things the Rumney crew did was make sure no one was in the building. Coursey said he knew the woman worked at a local hardware store and was able to contact her right away. She confirmed that no one was home; her children had boarded a bus for camp earlier that morning and both she and her boyfriend were at work.

Assured by that information, all hands were then busy working to extinguish the fire. Responding companies came from Plymouth, Campton, Hebron, Warren and Wentworth, while Bridgewater covered the Rumney Fire Station.

Coursey said the building was a doublewide mobile home, which provided air flow both around and beneath it, causing flames to quickly engulf the structure. Coursey said a portion of two bedrooms remained standing but they were heavily damaged and the home was a total loss. Firefighters were able to save a smaller barn-type structure for animals behind the house however.

The State Fire Marshal's Office was called to help investigate the cause of the fire. Coursey said the area where the washer and dryer were located appear to be where the fire burned the hottest but because there was so much damage, he said no exact determination could be reached.

Since last week the Rumney Fire Department, Lions Club and local residents have rallied to assist the family. People have dropped off clothing for the woman, her daughter and her three young sons, who are approximately 6-10 years old, as well as cash to help them purchase other items they will need. Coursey said the fire department will continue to accept donations for the family and suggested that toys for the children or financial contributions might be the best means of support at this time.

"Fortunately, the home was insured so hopefully she'll be able to get something else in place before winter," the chief said. "The main thing is nobody got hurt and everything else can be replaced."

Garnett Hill
Penny Pitou
Martin Lord Osman
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