BLACK BROOK — Fire destroyed Vickie and Kevin Hart’s home at 41 Coughlin Road in Black Brook on Wednesday.
Early afternoon, while some charred walls of the first floor still stood, the second level was completely gone.
“We put so much blood, sweat and tears in that house to make it our home,” said Vickie, teary-eyed, looking at the ruins of her home.
No one was there when the fire started.
Neighbor Nancy Morse called in the fire just before 11:30 a.m.
“I feel so bad for them,” she said. “Vickie worked so hard on that house.”
AuSable Forks Volunteer Fire Department Acting Chief Howard Drake said the home was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived.
The Harts’ two dogs, Anna and Gibson, were tied up outside and unharmed by the blaze.
Both Kevin and Vickie received calls about the fire around 11:30 a.m.
“I was wondering if my wife was OK because I knew she was home,” said Kevin, who got the news while at work.
“My buddy gave me a ride home so I wouldn’t drive like a maniac.”
Vickie was on her way to meet her oldest daughter, Brigitte, and pick up her 12-year-old twin daughters, Sadie and Sophie, from a friend’s house.
She didn’t know how the fire might have started.
“I didn’t do anything different than my normal routine,” Vickie said.
“The main thing is there was nobody home,” Kevin said.
LABOR OF LOVE
About 30 firefighters tackled the blaze, among them the Harts’ son Kody, who’s 21.
“It sucks because you join the volunteers, you never expect something like this,” he said. “I’ve grown up here for 15 years — I helped my mom and dad build everything.
“It’s an awful feeling, but we’ll rebuild.”
As investigators began their search for the cause of the fire, the Harts stood in their unscathed garage, once their home.