Croque family loses home to fire
Flynns receiving support from neighbours
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 email@example.com.
Jamie wished to think everyone who has donated, the Main Brook Fire Department, and friends and family for their support.
The home of Gerry and Betty Flynn of Croque was engulfed in flames early Friday morning, Oct. 13.