CAVENDISH, Vt. – Martha and Mitchell Benoit are doing the best that they can as they start to move forward after the March 3 fire that devastated their Cavendish home. Luckily the older couple, along with their blue tick lab Lincoln, all escaped serious injury, although Mitchell suffering minor burns on his hands. “It was my own fault, I went back in a third time,” he said. He was trying to retrieve more of the family’s belongings.
The fire began in the garage and quickly spread to the back of their home causing extensive damage. Firefighters responded from Cavendish and Proctorsville Fire Stations but help also came from nearby Ludlow, Chester, Springfield, West Weathersfield, Ascutney, and Plymouth who worked several hours before getting the fire under control. Although the garage was destroyed and the house heavily damaged, the Benoits have thankfully been able to salvage some personal items as well as clothing. ServicePro has been managing clean-up efforts.
Since the day of the fire, the Benoits have been on the move, most recently staying with their daughter Rhonda but they move to their new temporary housing in Proctorsville on March 22. According to their insurance adjustor, it will likely take six months to rebuild their Cavendish home, but they will have all the final details from their insurance company by end of the week.
Mitchell Benoit expressed his appreciation for all the community support they’ve received, and expressed high praise to both Cavendish and Proctorsville fire departments as well as the trucks and personnel that came from the other surrounding towns. According to Benoit, the local fire fighters were “extremely professional and did a very good job.”
Benoit also especially wanted to thank Jennifer Harper, a local Cavendish Town Elementary school teacher who has established a Go Fund Me page called “Rally and Rebuild for the Benoits” and to all those who have made contributions so far. Sixty-four donations have been made since the page was established, reaching 90 percent of the goal to date.
According to the Go Fund Me page, “Martha and Mitchell had been huge supporters of Cavendish Town Elementary School and of the town for many years. They finally recovered from the damages of Tropical Storm Irene and are now strapped with this.”
If you’d like to contribute, visit www.gofundme.com/rally-for-martha-mitchell-benoit.