To the Editor:
The day after Thanksgiving our home on Moore Street was badly damaged in a freak fire that started in the back yard and spread to the house. In a short period of time, while we were shopping, our entire life changed. Thankfully, no one was injured in the fire, and even our two cats escaped major harm.
Though the shock and pain of the loss of our home continues, our lives would be so much worse at the moment if it wasn’t for the incredible actions of the Princeton Volunteer Fire Department and for the amazing care of our friends and neighbors in Princeton, and especially on Moore and Jefferson Streets.
From the very first night, when we were left with only the clothes on our backs, people rallied around, providing everything from food, toiletries, and clothing to kind words of support. We are incredibly grateful and want to recognize and give thanks for the kindness of everyone who helped.
From the Nathan family who let us store some of the few possessions rescued from the fire in their garage, to the Stange family who gave us tickets for A Christmas Carol, there are many people to thank — so many, in fact, that we fear that this letter will not capture all of them. We do, however, want to try and publicly thank a few of them.
Jon and Jenny Crumiller and Darlyn Crum deserve special thanks for letting us stay in their beautiful house for almost two weeks until we found rented accommodation. It is impossible to overstate what their kindness meant to our family.
Community organizer Anita Garoniak, who started the search for temporary accommodation, clothing and so much more, continues to find other ways to support us. Ken and Diana Griebell created an online list to coordinate our search for necessities. Mona and Rob Sgobbo restocked our pantry and washed our smoke damaged clothing. Julie Harrison and Cecil Marshall helped us find a place to live. Liz Sikes found our scared cats and the Esterman-McKeegan and Dutaud families took them in. Miki Mendelsohn, the Marshall-Otto, Villa-Sgobbo, Esterman-McKeegan and Thompson families provided help, support and delicious food to comfort us over and over again. There are many, many names and this list continues to grow daily.
Others who have come to our side in our time of need include:
Susan Jeffries, Virginia Kerr, Jackie Shire, Dan Preston and Maggie Rose, Natasha Haase, Laura and Lindon Estes, Barbara Heck and Rob Nelson, Tom and Amy Onder, Maureen Kearney, Susan Ashmore, Danuta Buzdygan, Merilyn Rovira and Carlos Rodrigues, Advah Zinder, Lieve Monnens-Cash, Susan Osborn, Shawn O’Hara, Tony LaPlaca, and the Impink family.
We now have temporary accommodation on Moore Street from which we hope to oversee the rebuilding of our home as quickly as possible. Despite the trauma of the last few weeks we feel very lucky to live in Princeton and have such wonderful neighbors.
Susanna, Marc, Alex and Isabel Monseau