Business reaches out to help Hinsdale fire victims


HINSDALE -- It was around 4 p.m. on Sunday when Doug Hand headed out to get dinner for himself and his fianceé, Rebekah Hall, and their 3-year-old son. That’s when he saw the smoke and flames coming out of the side of the house, located at 15 Main St.

"He rushed back in and told me to call 9-1-1, that the house was on fire," Hall said. "Then, he went next door to make sure the others were OK."

Soon thereafter, the Hinsdale Fire Department arrived.

The couple and their child were among the six people left homeless late Sunday afternoon after a fire tore through the residence and resulted in a husband and wife being hospitalized for burns. The sister of the injured woman also escaped the fire.

As of Monday, the husband of the burned couple remained in the burn unit at UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester. Officials said his wife was listed in critical condition at a burn unit in Boston. Officials have not released the names of the burn victims.

Hall told The Eagle on Tuesday that she and Hand only were able to retrieve their pets -- two turtles and a dog -- a few clothing items each, and a few family photos.

"Other than that, we have nothing," said Hall. "My son is very upset. He doesn’t understand what’s going on and he just wants to go home. We don’t know the extent of the damage."

Hall said it appears that it will be a longer period of time until they are able to find a home. They’re currently staying in a single Pittsfield hotel room with their dog.

Hand does have renter’s insurance, which will help cover some of their losses.

She said her family received some initial help from the Berkshire County chapter of the American Red Cross. Hall said she’s also received some clothing from Phat Phannies clothing boutique, located at 85 Wahconah St. in Pittsfield. Co-owners Megg Harrison and Marci Bachand on Tuesday also put out a collection jar on the store’s counter.

Harrison told The Eagle that Hand’s mother is a store patron and had heard about the incident. "I love to help out the community any time I can," said Harrison, who will collect monetary and clothing donations for Hall, Hand and their 3-year-old.

A call seeking more information about the other residents in Sunday’s fire was made to the Hinsdale Fire Department Tuesday afternoon, but was not immediately returned. The department has not released the names of the other victims.

The sister of the injured woman was taken to Berkshire Medical Center on Sunday for observation and was expected to be released that day.


If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.

Powered by Creative Circle Media Solutions