Family seeks donations after house fire

NEW HAVEN — A post on the “gofundme” social media website has been created to help a New Haven family whose home was severely damaged in a Nov. 25 fire.

The home, owned by Jessica and Matt Friend, is located on Halpin Road, just across the town line from Middlebury. It was at around 3:30 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 25, that firefighters from multiple departments were toned out on a report of a chimney fire at the residence.

Firefighters found the fire had spread from the chimney to portions of the first floor and second floor before stopping at the attic, according to Middlebury Fire Chief David Shaw. He said the home is salvageable, but the Friends, who have young children, are currently unable to occupy their abode.

Jessica Friend’s stepmom, Jodi Litchfield, created the gofundme page to “help this family recuperate their losses, get through the holidays, and move forward with their lives.”

While no one was injured in the blaze, Litchfield said the family will be unable to stay in the home for “several months,” including Christmastime. The fire, she said, “caused much damage” to their home and belongings.

“As this was unexpected, they have no money set aside for the cost of renting a new place and replacing clothes, furniture, and other items” that sustained fire, water and smoke damage, she said through a narrative on the gofundme page.

“With multiple kids, this could become quite costly.” Litchfield added. “We are hoping to raise as much money as possible for this family during this stressful and unforeseen time.”

She also thanked firefighters, whose job that day was rendered even more difficult by icy conditions on Halpin Road.

“It is times like these that make us all realize how fragile life can truly be,” she said.

The gofundme site confirms a fundraising goal of $5,000. As of Friday morning, the site had recorded a total of $2,900 in donations.

Those wishing to contribute should log onto tinyurl.com/y9c2zz6q.

Reporter John Flowers is at johnf@addisonindependent.com

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