Fire consumes old Arlington House leaves Budreaus homeless again

by Susie Apple­gate
  In the ear­ly morn­ing hours of Jan­u­ary 3rd, the Budreau fam­i­ly of N. Plains Road was awak­ened by the shriek of the smoke alarm. The fran­tic par­ents, Rita and Hugo, hasti­ly round­ed up their eight chil­dren and fled the house. “My eyes was run­ning from the smoke and I was cough­ing so I could bare­ly talk. I kept telling the chil­dren get down, bend down, get under the smoke,” Hugo said. “We was all cough­ing by the time we was outside.”
  The Budreaus drove the three miles from the Arling­ton house to the fire sta­tion in town. Nan­cy Budreau, 9, said she could see an orange glow from the fire by the time they got to town.
  Vol­un­teers were imme­di­ate­ly alert­ed by the siren and sev­en men respond­ed meet­ing the fire truck at the scene of the fire. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, it was too late to save the house, but the fire was con­tained to the imme­di­ate area of the house and the out­build­ings where Andy Childers stores his hon­ey­dew har­vest­ing equip­ment were com­plete­ly spared.
  A com­plete inves­ti­ga­tion is yet to be con­duct­ed, but Fire Chief Lund­gren indi­cat­ed that the cause of the fire was prob­a­bly faulty wiring.
  Those of you new to Ger­maine may not be aware that the Budreau fam­i­ly came to us from Biloxi, Mis­sis­sip­pi after hur­ri­cane Kat­ri­na dev­as­tat­ed that city. In spite of this new tragedy, Hugo is grate­ful to Ger­maine, “I tell you, we come here with noth­ing and you folks opened your hearts and gave us that pret­ty house to live in and blessed us with all the things we need­ed. I couldn’t ask for more. I got a job now. We’ll get on.” Hugo Budreau is now jan­i­tor and gen­er­al handy­man at Mary of the Immac­u­late Heart Catholic Church.
  Just before dawn, as the fam­i­ly wait­ed for a report from the fire­men, Sha­her­azade Budreau, 11, told this reporter, “I wish we could just keep a place. If it ain’t fire, it’s wind. If it ain’t wind, it’s flood. I spent my whole life going from one dis­as­ter to another.”
  Her moth­er, Rita, put her arms around the girl’s shoul­ders and stared at the dawn just break­ing. “We got each oth­er. We got out alive, that’s the thing that mat­ters. We’re sur­vivors. We’ll be okay.”

  The Red Cross has put the fam­i­ly up at the Restin’ Easy for one week. In the mean­time, a fund has been set up at the Wilbur Coun­ty Cred­it Union and is accept­ing mon­e­tary dona­tions on behalf of the fam­i­ly. Mary of the Immac­u­late Heart is gath­er­ing dona­tions of food, cloth­ing, fur­ni­ture and house­hold items. Any­one with a three to four bed­room house they would like to rent to the Budreau may con­tact them through Lucy Charlebois-LaPlante at the library.

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