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Fire claims West Addison family's home [updated]

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Posted on March 26, 2018 |
By John S. McCright



fire at Forbes Bell home in Addison online.jpg
A VERGENNES FIREFIGHTER doses the remains of the fire that destroyed the home of Sabrina Bell and Jody Forbes and their children, as well as the home of Chase Atkins. Photos credit: Brian Fraser/Vergennes Fire Department

*Updated*

WEST ADDISON — On Sunday, March 18, Jody Forbes, Sabrina Bell and their four children (ages 13, 15, 16 and 17) lost their home in West Addison and everything they owned in a fire.

The fire occurred in the afternoon at a rented home on Route 17 across from Goodies Snack Bar. The fire also destroyed an apartment close by. Addison, Vergennes, Bridport and Crown Point, N.Y., fire departments extinguished the blaze.

No people in the homes were injured, but according to Addison Fire Chief Chris Mulliss the home, owned by the Forgues Farm, was already “fully involved” with flames when one of the tenants called it in at about 4 p.m.

“It was pretty much gone when we got the call,” Mulliss said.

All personal belongings were lost to a fire that was ruled accidental and apparently started in a living room of one of the apartments, Mulliss said. Thirteen cats, and baby chicks and ducks being kept in a crate, died in the fire, he said.

Neighbors said that, after an outpouring of generosity on Monday and Tuesday, Bell, Forbes and their children are all set with clothing, but in need of all kinds of household goods, from furniture and electronics to pots and pans. The Forbes-Bell family is in particular need of four twin beds, six bureaus and bedding.

Donations to help them get back on their feet are being accepted gratefully. Drop-off times for items are Friday, March 30, at Addison Central School from noon-3 p.m. and 4-7 p.m. The family will have the opportunity to chose items, and the remainder will go on sale to the general public.

The leftovers will be donated to a rummage sale held Saturday, March 31, at Addison Central School from 9 a.m.-noon, with proceeds going directly to the family, Lorraine Franklin explained in an email to the Independent.

When making donations organizers kindly ask that all items be in good, usable and saleable condition.

Volunteers to help with the drop-off and sale would also be greatly appreciated.

For more information contact Joy Pouliot at 759-2887 or Suzy Hunt at 759-2618.

Forbes’s sister started a GoFundMe crowdfunding webpage for the Forbes Bell family this week. See the page here: gofundme.com/7shdy-house-fire.

In the first two days it raised $885 to help them out; but it was a long way from the goal of what they need.

According to social media posts, Chase Atkins was living in an apartment behind the Forbes Bell family, and he also lost his home. Atkins has been a member of the Addison Fire Department.

In a sign of just what can be lost in a fire, Sabrina Bell posted this message on her Facebook page:

“If anybody has any pictures of mine and Jody Forbes’s kids could you please make copies for us? The only ones we have are the ones on our phones, this would be greatly appreciated!”

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