By Stan Friedman
CONCORD, NH (February 16, 2014) — Covenant pastor Earl Dunbar and his wife, Marcia-Anne, as well as their son, James, escaped a fire that caused “significant damage” to their home around 1 p.m. Friday.
No one was injured, and the family’s dog and two cats survived, but three cats are missing.
“The fire started in our laundry room under the dryer,” Earl wrote on his Facebook page. The flames and smoke spread quickly.
“God did protect us because the laundry room is also where our oil tank is located,” said Earl. “The flames came within a few inches of the tank. In fact, the tank is one of the few things intact in the lower level of the house.”
Earl said, “The home is about 80 percent destroyed, although the structure appears sound.”
The fire had done much of the damage by the time firefighters arrived shortly after receiving the call, Lt. John Reese told the Union Leader newspaper. Although no flames reached the upstairs, heat “melted a lot of the upstairs rooms,” he said.
The Dunbars lost most of their clothing and many other items. “Though no official estimate is available yet, it looks like it will be three to six months before we can live in our home again,” Earl wrote.
The Red Cross has put the family up at a local Red Roof Inn. Earl says the insurance company will move them to a hotel with a kitchen on Monday or Tuesday.
“We don’t know what the future holds, but we know who holds it,” says Earl. “That saying doesn’t mean we are taking this without pain and anger. But, we also know that in the midst of this we have a God who cares and who supplies.”
The East Coast Conference will coordinate and forward charitable assistance through its crisis fund for clergy, Superintendent Howard Burgoyne said.