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New to Nottingham, fire victims plan to stay
The Vitale family escaped when fire ripped through their newly purchased home at 115 Highland Ave. in Nottingham Friday. They say they have been overwhelmed by the generosity of the community. (COURTESY)
"Everybody has been so good," Brandy Vitale said Sunday. "The town is just incredible; we are so lucky to have such amazing people in our lives."
"I work in the lawyer's office that did the closing," said Dan Vitale's mother, Nancy Vitale of Hampstead. "My daughter-in-law and I were jumping up and down after they closed; they were so happy on Monday."
One of those Nottingham firefighters, Matthew Curry, a distant relative of the Vitale family, went back inside the house to save the family pets, a pair of cats.
"We'll do anything you want," Dan Vitale Sr. told the girls.
But Dan Vitale Jr. said the walls, windows and floors of the house weren't all that important to him as he stood outside the gutted building with his wife and daughters.
2001 fatal fire
The Vitales already had a very personal view of the emotional turmoil that comes when fire hits a home in the dark of night.
Derek Vitale was with a friend, heading to a day of fishing on Lake Winnipesaukee in late August, 2001 when they saw an orange glow in the sky shortly after 3 a.m.
Reaching the home, Vitale heard a child crying and used his T-shirt to filter the smoke as he crawled inside the building. He found the crying baby was in the same room as her mother, who perished in the fire, along with the father of the child.
"That is pretty amazing; maybe it's coming back to him through his brother," said Dan Sr.
The Vitales are convinced that Nottingham will remain their home.
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