Ray Henderson wasn’t born in Maine, but when he got here more than two decades ago, it quickly became home.
” Fell in love with the state and I’m still in love with the state,” said Henderson.
Where his house used to be on Sawyer Road in Levant is now rubble.
” It was a big place, like I said, 20-something years of dreams, gone in an instant,” said Henderson.
Fire destroyed the house on Monday afternoon. Fire investigators say there’s too much damage to determine what sparked it.
No one was home when the fire started.
” I had to park at the end of the road and walk down, and it was my place burning,” said Henderson. ” My soul just dropped to my feet. I mean, it’s all I had.”
Now, Henderson and his children are going through the ashes trying to see if there’s anything they can save.
” Lost all of my kids’ pictures, everything,” said Henderson.
” I spoke with Ray the morning after the fire and I asked him what is it that you need, and what he said to me was, the only thing we have are the clothes on our backs,” said Melodie Brower, a family friend.
Friends say Henderson is one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet.
” He’s the best. He’s like family to us,” said Billy Arceneaus.
” They’re always there to help everyone else, so it’s time that we come together and help them,” added Brower.
The Red Cross helped the family with a hotel room for a few days, but now they are staying with friends.
” Don’t know what we’re gonna do, but I’ve got faith,” said Henderon.
The family lost some pets in the fire. One of their dogs was rescued. People are already donating clothing and money to the family, something that’s meant a lot to Henderson.
” It brought tears to my eyes, and I’m not one that that happens much to,” said Henderson.
He knows he’ll never get his house or possession back, but he has learned that his community cares about him.
” Not having other family here, it’s kind of like the town and the people… I have more family I guess than I thought I did,” said Henderson.
There are a few ways you can help the family.
There’s a spaghetti dinner Friday, November 1st at Caravel Middle School in Carmel. There will be a raffle and donations will be accepted. The dinner starts at 5:30pm.
You can also donate online at www.giveforward.com.
Bangor Savings Bank branches are also accepting donations for the family. You just need to tell them that the money is for Ray Henderson.