Multi-Generational Family Loses Home in Exeter Fire

Joy Hollowell

Updated 8 months ago

The clothes on our backs.

That’s all an Exeter family says they have left after fire destroyed their mobile home Monday morning.

Three generations lived there at the time.

As Joy Hollowell tells us, the family has no insurance and no place to live.

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“Well, we were sitting there watching tv and my daughter heard something out on the porch. So she went out the door and she screamed, ‘Oh my God mom, the house is on fire.’”

Arlene Rider grabbed a jug of water.

“And by the time I opened that door, there was nothing I could do with that jug of water,” says Rider.

She and her daughter knew they had to get outside, but plastic covered the front door, blocking their only exit.

“And the guy from up the road here saw it and he stopped,” said Rider. “I kicked the door out and he grabbed the plastic and ripped it off and helped my daughter and I and our two dogs out of the house. But we lost our ferrets in there and we lost our degus.”

Rider lived in the home with her husband, daughter, daughter’s boyfriend and two grandchildren.

“My grandchildren are going to come home on the bus and they’re not going to have a place to go,” says Rider, her eyes filling with tears.

“When I arrived on scene, we had a fully involved structure,” says Corinna Assistant Fire Chief Shawn Richards. “Fire was coming out of every window and door in the place, unfortunately.”

Richards says the mobile home had been added onto several times and had a tin roof.

“And unfortunately when that stuff falls, it covers everything up and makes our job fighting a fire a little bit more difficult,” he explains.

An excavator was brought in to fully snuff out the flames.

Rider says she was using the wood stove at the time and thinks sparks may have fallen onto the porch. Among the items lost, thousands of dollars in ham radio equipment belonging to her husband.

“Nothing is going through my head,” says Rider. “I’m kind of numb. I don’t know what to think, I really don’t.”
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The Red Cross has been called to help out the family.


  • Ryan Stankevitz

    The Exeter Town office is accepting Donations for the Ryder Family. They can be reached at 379-2191

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