January 1, 2014
A few days before Thanksgiving, our family had a house fire. It was a traumatic experience that would have been much worse if it weren’t for the overwhelming support we received from our family, our neighbors and our community. We want to thank the Swampscott Police Department for their quick response and advice. Thank you to both the Lynn and Swampscott Fire Departments for minimizing the damage, and for the Peabody Fire Department for responding to the fire call. Thanks to our neighbors, Dan and Kathy Mazzaferro, for opening up their house to us at 2 am and letting us spend the night. Thanks to the Hales, the Grants, the Dedricks, the Coffeys, and the Vogels for letting us stay at their homes until we could find a place to rent. Thanks to Ilene Vogel for finding us a place to rent for 10 days and Iris Goldman for finding us a house to rent long-term until our home is repaired. We’d like to thank the Swampscott High School administration, teachers and students; the SHS Senior Class; PTF; POPS; Girl Scouts; and so many groups and individuals! Thanks to Mr. Bennett, Mr. Tenney, and the Senior Class for holding a fundraiser at Unos. Thanks to all of you for the gift cards and money. Thanks to Rachel Perrella for arranging to have laptops donated to Sam, Scott and Nora. Thanks to friends for bringing us home-cooked meals for the past week. Because of you, we have been able to eat our meals, replace our clothing, set up housekeeping again, and keep up with school work and college applications.
We are going to do our best to pay your kindness forward. For starters, here are two lessons we learned. First, if you have an old fireplace, have it inspected periodically for cracks, and have any cracks repaired immediately. Second, install smoke detectors and make sure they are always working. In our case, we were alerted to the fire when our smoke detectors went off and the alert was in time to get everyone out of the house safely. Keep spare batteries around the house so that, when the detector batteries wear down, you are able to replace them immediately, which will give you uninterrupted coverage.
We are so grateful for the outpouring of support from the Swampscott community. Please accept our heartfelt thank you.
Bill, Sarah, Joe, Sam, Scott and Nora Walker
25 Sheridan Road