Arson! Our Prayers Go Out To Harold

Bev’s Note: Harold (The Chronicles of Harold and more on the search menu) has been suffering through multiple operations for cancer. And his wife has also had health problems. I have not heard from Harold since before Christmas, but I have been praying for him and his family. This is Harold’s letter to me today, and he has graciously allowed me to republish it as a potential warning for others.

“Just a short note to let you know that in spite of it all, I am still alive and kicking.

To start with, I have just endured another ten days in the hospital with this UTI with three times the amount of antibiotic as before with the attendant side effects, such as the loss of balance which affects me tremendously. I got out on Saturday morning the 4th after having went in on Christmas Day.

At about 12:30 AM on the 8th Grim Acres was firebombed with a molotov cocktail by suspects still yet unknown, but described by the lady in the corner house as a pair of young men who strolled down the street toward our house and came running by a few minutes later, just before the fire alarms had sounded.

I had just been to the bathroom because of the bladder problem when I lay back down. Wife asked me if grandson had came home yet from work and I said he hasn’t yet and I figured he was probably working overtime. About that time I heard a thump and bang from the porch and said maybe that is him now.

Two minutes later our super duper four way alarms went off and my wife went out to the living room and screamed back at me that the porch was on fire. I jumped up and went to the front door thinking it was a trash or leaf fire and I would douse it with her watering can for her flowers. When I cracked my new steel door, I smelled a very strong odor of gasoline and the flames started shooting up the wall.

I quickly closed the door and told her to hurry and get dressed as I called 911 and dressed myself quickly. She panicked, as usual, and would not calm down enough to get dressed until the last minute when it was no longer prudent to remain in the house.

We exited the back door down icy steps and through three feet of snow heading for the front of the house. I was stumbling around falling down with my loss of balance until I made it to our car and pulled myself up and to the door where I could sit down.

My wife was standing in a drift searching for the cloth house slipper she had lost and starting to go into shock when the police finally came down from the corner where they were waiting on the fire department. I asked one of them to go help her and take her to the ambulance where she could get warmed up. I explained my medical problems to him and the reason why I was not able to help her and they put me in the ambulance also.

The fire went up the wall through the eaves and into the attic where it quickly spread to all of the rooms with the common attic. In short, we lost practically everything.

The house will have to be demolished and another one erected a little farther back from the street to make it harder for someone to do this again. I was insured adequately for replacement and while we are staying with the oldest daughter at the moment, they are going to rent us a three bedroom ground floor unit with in front parking access until July when they figure the new dwelling will be completed.

The police believe it is something like that knockout game they are doing now, since last month another arson occurred a couple of blocks from here. They said the only thing was when they caught them this time, with us due to our ages and physical condition, that it would be two counts of attempted murder.

I am on a borrowed computer right now and as soon as we get set up in accomodations and I have a replacement computer I will write again. Praise the Lord he had the foresight to have me make the front porch wall triple thick and install that new steel door and to opt for the best detectors on the market. And also for holding us in the palm of his hand through this all.

Only casualty was our poor family heirloom – a 12 year old black cat that suffered a pinched nerve in the excitement and was found the next day in hiding by the grandson. The vet says she will recover. So goes the Saga of Grim Acres.”


Bev – After my house fire, even though I had adequate insurance, I was recommended a reconstruction contractor who turned out to be totally unscrupulous, making changes that I didn’t approve in order to charge me more and get the personal property money for himself – because he knew I had had several strokes and was alone. Long story short, I lost my home even with good insurance.

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