Letter: Westport family lost all to devastating fire; It’s time to help

Hoses fill water tanks as crews hose down the smoldering remains of the Westport house.

Hoses fill water tanks as crews hose down the smoldering remains of the Westport house.

Hoses fill water tanks as crews hose down the smoldering remains of the Westport house.

To the editor:

To our South Coast neighbors,

The afternoon of April 30, my family was at home when we heard frantic screaming. My husband opened the door to see the woman who lives across the street running for her life. Her home was ablaze.

A car with a young woman had stopped in the middle of the road and ran to help her cross the front yard to safety.  Our family ran to her, calling 911, and asked if there was anyone else inside and she was screaming, no, no just me … my house is on fire!

Within five minutes it was a blazing inferno.

The next few hours were unbelievable. We sat with the Mom on the grass hugging her and crying with her. Her car was in the garage underneath the home and that went up as well.  The magnitude of the black smoke could be seen miles away and nearby homes started putting out embers and small lawn fires.  The fire department arrived to a fully engulfed home and I appreciated more the danger that firefighters face as well as the science that fire itself is.

The Mom frantically tried to grasp her cellphone and dial her husband at work. She screamed “the house is on fire — it’s gone, all of it, everything, oh my god, please come home.”

He works one hour away and I can’t imagine what his ride home was like. She called her daughter, who yelled in disbelief, “It can’t be, I was just there.”  The daughter went to pick up her two younger siblings to bring them to their Mom. The horror on the kids’ faces when they arrived on the scene will be etched in my mind forever. The Dad, a former Marine, took his wife in his arms and said, “It’s things,”

News and smoke spread fast and quickly other neighborhoods arrived to the scene in utter disbelief.  The Red Cross arrived and provided sweatshirts, two nights stay at the Hampton Inn and a small voucher for necessities.

The home is considered a total loss, so much so that the remaining shell was knocked down the next day due to the hazard it posed. The family is focusing on the fact that everyone is alive. That couldn’t be more true because the Mom was just about to go into the attic to organize some things when she heard an unusual sound downstairs. She went to investigate. It was the sound of fire.

If you would like to help this family:

Please send checks to the Habib Family Fundraiser and mail to:

Westport Federal Credit Union

PO Box 3324

Westport, MA 02790

Thank you very much,

Deborah Novo



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