Picking Up The Pieces When Tragedy Strikes

A house fire this week on Avalon Street in Troy sadly took the lives of two people, Thomas and Deborah Major. A runaway fire is the thing we all fear, but when casualties result the tragedy is exponentially worse.

It has just not been a good year so far when it comes to Metro East homeowners and devastating fires, with several occurring over the winter months and now into the spring.

Earlier in March, a home on Bluebird Lane owned by Don and Jayne Hamilton, whom I consider friends, was declared a total loss after a devastating fire. It also damaged two cars sitting in the driveway as well as the entire contents of the house. A half-dozen other departments provided mutual aid. Both the Avalon fire and the Bluebird Lane fire were fierce enough to damage neighboring houses.

A fire in Bethalto on March 5 was doubly tragic in that it claimed the life of firefighter Captain Jacob Ringering of the Godfrey Fire Department, who was fatally injured after a brick wall collapsed on him.

Community support can make a big difference, though turning back the hands of time when a fatality occurs is mighty difficult. But time marches on.

On a more positive note, a major construction project is apparently underway at Mills Apple Farm, located half-way between Marine and Grantfork, mainly to replace the main barn that was destroyed by fire in 2014, along with a considerable amount of equipment and stored goods. Founder Jerry Mills credited Bradford National Bank Commercial Lending Officer Steven Bartlett with making it all happen. The new market, Mills said, will take up a lot of the open space in the new building. “It will include a bakery, fresh produce, and a meeting room.” For couples who decide to tie the knot at the farm, which many do, they’ll be a place for that too, he said

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