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Epping family looks to rebound after fire destroys house

Union Leader Correspondent

January 28. 2014 5:57PM
A pot of artificial flowers sits outside the charred remains of the Glidden home on Railroad Avenue in Epping. (JASON SCHREIBER PHOTO)

EPPING — A fast-moving fire last week left the Glidden family homeless.

“We need to figure out how to get a roof over our heads,” said Leo Glidden, whose family lost everything when fire tore through their Railroad Avenue home on the night of Jan. 19.

Glidden and his wife, Kristen, and 9-year-old son, Mason, lived at the residence at 96 Railroad Ave. with his mother, Leona, who owned the home, and his father, Waldo.

The family spent the first few nights at the Hampton Inn in Exeter thanks to help from the Red Cross. The family has since moved to the Pondside Motel in Epping after receiving assistance from the town.

Leo Glidden said the town offered to put the family up in the motel for two weeks.

In the meantime, the family is waiting to hear back from its insurance company and is hopeful it will help cover the cost of their temporary shelter.

“We don’t know how long it will take for them to do what they have to do,” he said.

A fund has been established to help the Gliddens recover from the fire. People wishing to donate can make checks payable to the Glidden Family Fire Fund and drop them off at the TD Bank in Epping. They can also be mailed to the bank at 16 Fresh River Road, Epping, N.H., 03042.

The family has received many donations of clothing, but Leo Glidden said that at the moment money donations would be the most helpful.

The fire broke out around 10:30 p.m. on Jan. 19 in the kitchen area. Glidden said the blaze was caused by a chimney fire.

“My mother heard popping sounds going off. She thought it was the woodstove but when she got up, the roof was on fire and there were flames up in the ceiling. I tried putting snow on it but it just got too far advanced,” he said.

Glidden’s wife, Kristen, said their son was the first one out of the house and the rest managed to escape without injury. They also saved their pet parrot and cockatiel and their dog, Suede. The family’s cat, Tiger, is still missing. Tiger was an outdoor cat that spent some time in the house. The Gliddens said they aren’t sure if he was inside or outside at the time of the fire, but they’re hopeful that he made it out.

Picking up the pieces after the fire has been difficult for the Gliddens.

“We’ve lived in the same place for 40 years and we’re trying to transition. That’s basically the hardest part,” he said.

Kristen Glidden said she’s been impressed with the way her son has handled the fire’s aftermath.

“For a kid who’s lost everything he’s taking this really well. He hasn’t shed a tear. He keeps telling me everything he lost is replaceable. Most kids cry because they lost all their toys and clothes and games,” she said.

Fires Human Interest Epping Photo Feature

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