Community Helps Sharon Family Recover from House Fire
SHARON, VT - On January 6th, Shirley Eastman-Lane and Kevin Lane lost their home due to a fire. “We moved here 27 years ago, and we were finally finishing up all those house projects we have been dreaming about. We had just finished renovating the kitchen,” says Shirley with tears filling up her eyes. The day of the fire, Shirley and Kevin were both at work. Jonny Moore, a neighbor, was driving by around 11 a.m. when he saw the fire. He drove to his grandmother’s house, Lois Moore who lives in the house just next door, to call the fire department. “He asked me what the phone number was for the Sharon fire department, I told him to just call 911,” says Lois. Jonny then went back to try to save the family dog, Kody, but unfortunately, the dog was hiding in a closet and was trapped in the flames. “Kody was 13 years old. We got him when he was 13 weeks. It’s been so hard, losing him. He was part of the family,” says Shirley.
Shirley only heard about the house fire an hour later, when her son called from California. Nobody had Shirley's cell phone number, so it took a few phone calls to reach first her ex-daughter-in-law, then the news traveled on. "As soon as I picked up the phone, my son knew I didn't know about it. I was jovial. He just said "mom, your house is on fire", and I just ran home," said Shirley.
The Sharon fire department, with the help of Broad Brook, North Pomfret, and South Royalton fire departments, battled the fire for 7 hours, and they were able to save the garage. The origin of the fire is not known. Sharon Fire Chief Jason Flint said that “the house was so far gone, it is hard to tell what happened.” He added that the woodstove was on and might have been the cause of the fire, or the electrical system. “It is hard to tell because the internal structure is so far gone. We don’t think the origin of the fire is suspicious, though,” he added. They will not do any further investigations.
Community members come to their help
Despite losing their dog and everything they owned in the fire, Shirley also talks about the generosity of her neighbors and community. They helped with finding a place for them to stay: a neighbor living in Connecticut offering their house for them to stay in. The Sharon Food Shelf also brought in food and the neighbors started to donate money and clothes, to start the rebuilding process. Shirley is hopeful that they will be able to rebuild, on the same site, if the insurance company comes through.
Community members started accepting donations and clothes to help Kevin and Shirley
She added that “people have been so generous. People we didn’t even know before,” says Shirley. A GoFundMe page was created, and $6,200 have already been raised. “I just can’t say it enough. People have been so generous. We will never forget that.”
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