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Final update on my brother

It’s over a week later and I think they’ve recovered all they can from the house. The insurance people have been incredible. It’s now likely that my brother will sell his lot to a contractor and buy a new house in the same town. They should be able to do this and replace nearly everything lost in the fire with the insurance money.

His fiancee’s workplace and my sister’s school (she’s a teacher) have been taking up collections to help cover the rest. A first grader offered everything she had (about $700) because my brother lost his dog and that made her very sad. The money wasn’t accepted, but this is just one example of the type of things that have been happening over the last week. It’s been incredibly uplifting.

Sorry I’ve been bad about replying to everyone’s comments on the last couple of entries about this. For the obvious reasons, spare time in the last week wasn’t what it should be. Thanks for all the kind words.

Oh and in answer to the standing question…. The hard drive that I salvaged from the melted Dell laptop was a Toshiba.


GrendelSong Available for Preorder


Clarkesworld Bestsellers for the Week Ending May 28, 2006


  1. “A first grader offered everything she had (about $700) because my brother lost his dog and that made her very sad.”

    You’re just determined to make your readers cry, aren’t you?

    Seriously, I’m glad there’s so much goodwill, and that it sounds like they’re going to be okay.

    • >>You’re just determined to make your readers cry, aren’t you?<<

      🙂 Just sharing the wealth.

  2. Good for your brother. I’m glad things are shaping up.

    • Me too. I can’t imagine what things would have been like if it wasn’t for all the people that came out to support him. On Friday night alone, over 100 of his friends came in from all over the Northeast. They took over a bar and made him forget about it for a night.

      • Excellent friends!

        The house of a good friend of mine burned down here in Portland about a month ago — a visitor was careless with a lit cigarette which caused a smoldering fire that shorted out the smoke alarms after everyone had gone to sleep. The dog woke them and everybody made it out, but her house and belongings (along with those of her three children) a total loss. So I’ve seen this going on close to home, too.

        • Never would have thought fire alarms could be taken out by fire before they detected it. Sounds like they were very lucky. Best of luck to them. Must be even harder with kids.

          • It can happen with an attic fire in a house with wired-to-grid smoke alarms with old batteries. Wired-to-grid alarms aren’t obviously in failure mode if the battery runs out (there’s more steps to test than with battery-only alarms), and in my friend’s case the smoldering fire worked its way through attic insulation which meant that the detectable combustion byproducts were already *above* the ceiling-mounted alarms (and rising further with the heat rise) while at the same time the fire was destroying the electrical wiring which provided power to the alarms themselves so that when the flames started down the walls, the alarms were no longer functioning.

            Kind of a subtle form of error actually. Like you, I was amazed.

  3. i do wish your brother all the best and i’m glad things are looking up.

  4. I’m glad things are working out for them, as much as possible. Even though I haven’t commented much, my thoughts have definately been with you and them..

    on a side side anyone else surprised that a first grader has $700 to offer?? I thought perhaps I had misread it at first..phew that’s a lot of money for a 7 year old to possess..

  5. Hey Neil,

    Thanks for being able to get my book order out so quickly, despite this tragedy. You’re a gem.

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