Fire vic­tims es­cape with the clothes on their backs

The Glengarry News - - News - -- Richard Ma­honey

“We are still numb,” said Theresa Bow­man Mon­day morn­ing.

She and her hus­band, Richard, are still com­ing to terms with the loss they suf­fered when fire de­stroyed their home on Con­ces­sion 8 at McCrim­mon last Wed­nes­day.

“We got out with the clothes on our backs,” said Mrs. Bow­man.

No­body was in­jured in the blaze that de­stroyed the log home that dates back to 1865.

“It was our dream home; it had so much char­ac­ter,” said Mrs. Bow­man, fight­ing back tears. She and her hus­band of 44 years had lived in the hem­lock-cov­ered log house for 16 years.

Richard Bow­man no­ticed the fire as he was let­ting out one of their two dogs. As smoke bil­lowed from an ex­te­rior wall, he be­gan rip­ping off boards, at­tempt­ing to ex­tin­guish the flames with snow.

As the flames spread, he re­al­ized his ef­forts were fu­tile. “Honey, it’s time to get out,” he called to his wife. They took refuge in their car parked nearby. “We sat and watched our house burn down. The car was bro­ken; we couldn’t even get the heater to work,” re­called Mrs. Bow­man with a laugh.

“The flames were fully in­volved” when fire­fight­ers ar­rived at the scene, re­lated The Na­tion Fire Chief To­bias Hovey.

While their dogs es­caped, the Bow­mans’ three cats per­ished in the flames.

About 35 fire­fight­ers from The Na­tion’s StBernardi­n, St-Isi­dore and Fournier sta­tions fought the fire with sup­port from the Van­kleek Hill sta­tion.

“We want to thank all the first re­spon­ders and all of those who have pro­vided sup­port and prayers,” said Mrs. Bow­man. “We have a lot of friends and sup­port and we have in­sur­ance.”

They are cur­rently liv­ing with their adult daugh­ters in Lan­caster and Long Sault un­til they find a place in Alexandria. The Bow­mans are mak­ing plans to re­build.

The ex­act cause of the fire has not been de­ter­mined, said Mr. Hovey. He ob­served that the in­ci­dent was another re­minder of the im­por­tance of hav­ing smoke de­tec­tors, which were ac­ti­vated once the flames broke out.

Busy

The Na­tion fire­fight­ers have been busy this year. In the same area this week, they sal­vaged a garage on North Skye Road where a car burst into flames. A faulty ex­ten­sion cord or block heater is be­lieved to have sparked this in­ci­dent, the 47th call the depart­ment has re­sponded to this year.

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