Friends, strangers rally around family that lost everything in fireBy APRIL GUILMET
Union Leader Correspondent
February 06. 2014 7:45PM
HUDSON — After losing all of their belongings in a home fire a week ago, a Hudson family is struggling to start over.
The Greenwood family’s mobile home was destroyed on Jan. 31 and since then the five family members have been staying in a local hotel.
Homeowner Paul Greenwood didn’t have insurance, and he’s now hoping the kindness of others will help replace all that’s been lost.
The Salvation Army and the Red Cross are assisting the family with emergency lodging right now and donations of cash, clothing, food, toiletries and other household items continue to pour in.
Just hours after the fire Ashley Moore, a friend of the family, knew that she too wanted to help out.
Moore set up an online fundraising account for the family, “Help The Greenwood Family,” via the Go Fund Me website last Friday afternoon.
“They pretty much lost everything they own,” Moore said on Wednesday.
Collection cans have been placed on the counters of area businesses, while neighbors have also stepped up to lend a hand.
Neighbor Morgan White, a resident of the Mobile Estates mobile home community, said she’s been collecting donations from around the park.
Others have donated new or gently used goods.
“People have just been so generous,” Moore said. “It means so much to the family.”
By Thursday morning, a total of $555 had been raised online, with a dozen or so donors showing goodwill in the form of $10, $20 and $50 gifts.
The fire started early last Friday morning, and fire crews from five area towns responded to the blaze at 13 Mobile Drive.
By the time they arrived, 7-year-old Paul Carter Jr. had already taken his 72-year-old grandmother by the hand, leading her out of harm’s way as soon as he saw flames filling the kitchen.
Little Paul lived in the mobile home with his father, Paul Greenwood, his 15-year-old sister, his grandmother, his father’s girlfriend and several pet dogs.
Fire officials believe Buster, the family’s two-year-old German Shepherd caused the fire after jumping on the kitchen stove and igniting a burner. Buster didn’t survive the Jan. 31 fire, but no one else was injured.
Fire Captain David Morin said the fire was brought under control within 20 minutes with the help of fire crews from Litchfield, Nashua, Windham and Pelham, but the home and all of its contents were a total loss.
The single-wide, four-room mobile home was valued at $25,000, according to town assessments. Fire officials estimated total damages at $50,000, noting that the occupants escaped with only the clothes on their backs.
Moore said she plans to keep the fundraiser going for the next several weeks to try to help out as much as she can.