• James Armstrong

Devastating blaze destroys Hudson family home


PHOTO BY ROD HODGSON

A home on Hudson’s Main Road was destroyed by fire November 22, the third major blaze in a 10-day period, leaving the town’s fire department to issue a call for vigilance by homeowners who use wood-burning fire places and woodstoves.

For Hudson residents Judy Meade and Norm Arduini, Thursday, November 22 turned out to be a day of disaster. Their home, located at 370 Main Road near Mount Pleasant Street, was completely destroyed by fire. “We are fine but still recovering from the emotional shock,” said Meade this week. “Luckily, no one was hurt and Norm was able to rescue our dog.”

Meade, who is music director for the Hudson Greenwood Singers and St. James’ and St. Mary’s Churches, was attending an early morning choir rehearsal with her husband Norm.

“He went home before I did and smelled smoke from something burning when he opened the door to the house,” said Meade. It was apparent to Arduini the house was full of smoke so he grabbed the dog and called 911.

“The fire department arrived very quickly,” said Meade. However, the burning wood structure proved difficult to control because of the structural additions made over the years.

“We are very thankful for all of the support we have received from the community,” said Meade. “We are currently staying with friends and we have a house to go to in about a month,” she said adding that they were covered by their insurance policy. “The total value of the loss hasn’t been determined yet but we know the house is a write-off,” she said.

One bright note in the aftermath of the fire was finding the boxes of family photos undamaged by smoke, flames or water.

“The exterior of the boxes were wet but the contents were alright,” reported Meades. It was a bit of consolation in the midst of losing their family home of 35 five years.

PHOTO BY JAMES ARMSTRONG

A charred and smoke-damaged shell is all that remains of a Hudson home following a fire that took firefighters eight hours to bring under control last week.

Loss of piano and music scores

As a pianist, Meade said she mourning the loss of her upright piano. “I’ve had that piano for over 40 years,” she said. “It looks like a piano, it’s still standing but it’s covered in ice. I loved that piano; I think that’s the biggest loss for me.”

As for the remains of their home, Meade said they intend to rebuild. Regarding her collection of music scores collected over the years, Meade wasn’t certain they were salvageable.

“The insurance company adjustors have taken out some of the books that were in a part of the house that wasn’t so badly damaged. I’m not sure what will happen with the music books,” she said. A music collection is very difficult to replace, she noted. Fortunately, Meade was carrying the music with her that she will need for upcoming concerts. “I also have a digital piano that wasn’t in the house, so it wasn’t damaged,” she added.

Hudson Fire Department response

“The original call came in at 9:30 a.m. for a chimney fire,” said Assistant Director of the Hudson Fire Department Daniel Leblanc. It was a call that required the mutual aid of six fire departments from across the region because of the cold temperatures. “We were there until about 5 p.m.,” Leblanc reported, adding it was a difficult blaze to control because of the multiple additions to the structure over the years. “We were chasing the fire through different construction spaces,” he said, “including a double roof. It was a long, cold day.” According to Leblanc, the cause of the fire is under investigation and has not yet been determined.

“People in Hudson are so kind and generous,” said Meade. “We’re so thankful for all the support we have received. Although we have lost everything, we aren’t destitute. Everyone is offering help – Hudson is a very special community.”

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