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Easter fire ruins Brighton home

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copyright the Chronicle April 19, 2017


by Sharon (Campbell) Biron


Editor’s note: the following is Ms. Biron’s account of the fire that ruined their Island Pond home Sunday night. She and her husband, Mark Biron, lost everything in the fire.

Mark and I had just returned on Easter Sunday from a three-day research trip to French Azilum in Pennsylvania. We got back to the house at East Brighton Road in Island Pond at 6 p.m. on Sunday. We started a log fire in the furnace to warm the house up. An hour or so later we noticed from the garden that the chimney was alight, with sparks and fire coming out of it. We ran down to the basement to put out our furnace/log fire and used a garden hose to put out the fire on the chimney and roof. The fire was completely out, or so we thought.

At 9.30 p.m. we were in bed. I heard strange sounds on my bedroom ceiling of what sounded like the pit pat of raindrops. I walked out into the living room and looked up at the ceiling. I couldn’t see anything, but something made me reach out and open the furnace pipe closet door. When I opened it I looked up it and was shocked to see flames up in the attic. I ran in and woke Mark up, and he raced out. We used three fire extinguishers, to no avail.

We ran out and dragged garden hose into the house and sprayed it up the furnace pipe through the closet. I ran outside into the garden to see the green metal roof was on fire — eight-foot-long fire with two-foot high flames. Smoke was billowing out from under the rafters. I ran back in and told Mark to call the fire service. I told him it was no good trying to fight the blaze anymore; the whole roof was ablaze. I dragged the dogs out of the house and locked them in the car and reversed up to the sand dunes in my garden so the petrol tank would not explode in the massive heat. I ran back in to try and get Mark out; he was still trying to fight the fire. I grabbed my phone and handbag plus the urn containing my brother Paul’s ashes and ran back to the car. Within minutes fire crews arrived, and took control of situation.

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