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Fire destroys home in Dummer



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A fire destroyed a home on East Side River Rd. on Sunday. The owners expressed more thanks that no one was hurt than regret that the incident occurred. (Photo by Erik Eisele) (click for larger version)
February 03, 2010
DUMMER — A Sunday evening fire destroyed a house on East Side River Road in Dummer.

Raoul and Louise Gagnon came home to 1420 East Side River Road just before 7 p.m. to discover smoke pouring out the roof. They drove next door to their son William's house to call the fire department.

Mr. Gagnon left his wife at his son's house and returned to watch crews from Milan, Gorham and Stark try to extinguish the fire. He wasn't sure where all the crews came from, he said, but they did an amazing job.

"I was surprised," he said, "they were there as soon as I was."

Temperatures hovered in the single digits and teens, but firefighters kept working until around midnight. The cause of the fire is still unknown.

"It looked like a disaster from what I saw last night," Mr. Gagnon said. He was still at his son's house, surrounded by friends and family offering support.

He has lived in that house since 1941, he said, when his parents bought it for them and their seven children. In all five generations of Gagnons have inhabited the house, he said.

Now many of their possessions are gone, but Mr. and Mrs. Gagnon and their family expressed relief no one was hurt. And it has shown the Gagnons how much support they have.

"A person my age, you never know how many friends you've got," Mr. Gagnon said.

Sunday's fire brought them out in droves. They stood around William Gagnon's house, offering words of support or a hug whenever the Gagnons needed it.

"I have to think about what I'm going to do," Mr. Gagnon said; he wasn't sure whether he wanted to rebuild or not. He said he would take some time to think on it.

In the meantime the Gagnons were waiting to go in and find out what survived and what was destroyed.

"What didn't burn the water did a job on it," Mr. Gagnon said, speculating their possessions would be a total loss.

Still, he said, no one was hurt, and that's what really matters.

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