The Aftermath of Agony: Local Family Burned Out
February 7, 2014
by Doug Robinson
He stands alone in bone chilling weather, beneath a moonless sky attempting to reattach the huge blue tarp which now covers his burned out mobile home. Attempting to keep his balance atop his rickety roof, he looks into the empty void of sodden ashes and wet soot. His family’s life of 16 years, as they knew it, vaporized as it burned away in only 22 minutes.
Before the ashen soot, longtime homegrown and schooled Hudson resident Paul Greenwood and his family had been the proud owners of the mobile home he lived in at 13 Mobile Park Drive. For 16 years, 16 Christmases, birthdays, holidays and family events, the Greenwood family created their precious memories in this now charred environment.
Young Paul Jr., seven, awoke on that early morning to the sight of a fire engulfing his kitchen. It was 7 a.m. and this was about the time Paul Jr. would be getting ready for school on this Friday morning.
According to fire officials, one of the three family dogs jumped onto the stove and turned on a burner, which ignited some combustible material and then disaster, struck.
The fire spread rapidly, reaching temperatures in excess of 1,500 degrees. The heat was hot enough to buckle and burn the shell of the mobile home. Today, the home is a simple shell of memories gone by.
When the fire exploded, Paul Jr., his grandmother and their three dogs became trapped. Hudson Deputy Chief John O’Brien stated, “Paul’s presence of mind was unbelievable. He saved his grandmother’s life. His actions were heroic.”
“The fire was intense and spread very rapidly. The windows exploded and the fire shot from the back to the front of the mobile home fast,” commented Deputy Fire Chief O’Brien. “The firefighters who entered the home had to exit due to the extreme heat and the dangerous conditions. Neighbors even commented about hearing explosions.”
The intensity of the fire required the work of 26 firefighters from Nashua, Windham, Pelham and Hudson. The Salvation Army provided temporary housing for the Greenwood family. The home is a “total loss” stated the Red Cross. Paul, his mother, two children and a friend are now, quite bluntly, out in the cold.
During the fighting of the fire, two Hudson highway department employees assisted the HFD with the application of sand on the frozen ground. “We are very thankful to the highway department. Those two guys stood shoulder to shoulder with our team, keeping the ground safe. For eight hours they shoveled and spread sand by hand throughout the entire area, assisting the 26 firefighters.”
Soon, the charred remains of the mobile home will be removed and the vacant lot will serve as a hollow reminder to the hollow pits, which exist in their stomachs now. They currently live in a camping trailer, parked behind the large open top trash container, resting less than four feet from their mobile home. “My dad offered me his camping trailer,” commented Paul.
Family finances and the present economic times did not allow for Paul to have home insurance. His home is a total loss; he neither has the funds to remove it or to purchase another mobile home.
When asked, “What help do you need?” Paul simply states, “Money. My neighbors have been great with food, warmth and clothes. Hudson is a great community. I have lived here all my life and I am very thankful for everyone’s help.”
The website, http://www.gofundme.com/6ljrl4 has been set up by 17 year old family friend, Ashley Moore. “The website is on Southern New Hampshire emergency alerts and pops up on Facebook. She has been absolutely great with the setting up of this website. I am very thankful and very grateful for her help,” commented Paul.
“I just have no idea what or how I am going to do what I have to do. I am not afraid of work, and we will get through this. Hopefully, someone will help me out to get a new home. I hope people visit the website.”
February 7, 2014