Croque fam­ily loses home to fire

Flynns re­ceiv­ing sup­port from neigh­bours

Northern Pen - - Front Page - BY STEPHEN ROBERTS

The com­mu­nity of Croque is ral­ly­ing around a fam­ily who lost their home ear­lier this month.

The home of Gerry and Betty Flynn, and their son Jamie, burnt to the ground early Fri­day morn­ing, Oct. 13.

Betty and Jamie were home at the time, while Gerry was away for work. The two suc­cess­fully es­caped and were un­harmed by the fire but lost nearly all their pos­ses­sions inside.

The only items that were saved was Jamie’s cell­phone and a meat grinder.

It all started around 2:30 a.m. when Jamie awoke to “click­ing and crack­ling” noises.

“I sung out to my mother be­cause I fig­ured she had wood heat in, be­cause I went to bed ear­lier than her,” he told The North­ern Pen via phone in­ter­view. “She got up and she said, ‘Jamie get up, we got to get out of the house, the house is on fire.’

“We jumped up, opened the door and the hall­way was full of smoke. So, I went back to my win­dow, opened it, took a few clean breaths, grabbed my sweater and ran for it.”

With no shoes on their feet, they ran to Betty’s brother’s house to tell them what was hap­pen­ing.

The word quickly spread through town. Lo­cal woman El­iz­a­beth Kear­ney told The North­ern Pen mostly ev­ery­one was out watch­ing with amaze­ment but felt help­less.

As there is no fire depart­ment in Croque, a small com­mu­nity of about 50 peo­ple, the Main Brook Fire Depart­ment re­sponded to the call from about 30 kilo­me­tres away.

The depart­ment con­tained the fire and, for­tu­nately, there was no wind that night to spread the fire, but the house was a to­tal loss.

Jamie felt the fire depart­ment re­sponded quickly given the dis­tance they had to travel and the con­di­tion of the dirt road lead­ing to Croque.

Both Betty and Jamie suf­fered min­i­mal smoke in­hala­tion and were cleared from the hos­pi­tal later that day.

Jamie is cur­rently liv­ing with an aunt and un­cle, while Betty and Gerry, who has re­turned home since the fire, are stay­ing at his grand­par­ents.

The fam­ily be­lieves the fire ei­ther started with the panel box or the hot wa­ter tank, but they’re un­sure.

With the home gone, there are some hard decisions to make.

Jamie says they haven’t de­cided what comes next, whether they’ll be look­ing to re-build or move out of town.

But they have been get­ting sup­port from their com­mu­nity and sur­round­ing area.

Since the fire, fundrais­ers have been un­der­way to help the Flynns get back on their feet.

Two Grand in Your Hand fundrais­ers have been hosted with half of the pro­ceeds, $2,650, go­ing to the fam­ily and the other half go­ing to the win­ners.

A prize bingo has also been held in Conche and an­other bingo is sched­uled to be held in Croque on Nov. 2.

Dona­tions can also be sent via eTrans­fer to Jamie Flynn at ruler_013@hot­mail.com.

Jamie wished to think ev­ery­one who has do­nated, the Main Brook Fire Depart­ment, and friends and fam­ily for their sup­port.

PHOTO SUB­MIT­TED BY EL­IZ­A­BETH KEAR­NEY

The home of Gerry and Betty Flynn of Croque was en­gulfed in flames early Fri­day morn­ing, Oct. 13.

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