I’ve been fortunate in life. I haven’t experienced the kind of tragedies many people have. That’s why I’m probably not the most qualified person to console the Wilsons, or any other family that has lost their home and belongings to fire. But I’m going to try.
Clare County Sheriff John Wilson, wife Karen, owner of Country Flowers in Harrison, their two sons and two dogs all made it out of their home safely when it was engulfed in flames late Monday morning. I guess if there was a silver lining it is the fact that the fire that spread so quickly did not injure humans or animals.
That silver lining is very thin however. As in most house fires, the Wilsons lost all their belongings. Much of it like furniture and clothes can be replaced, but family heirlooms, pictures, knick-knacks, and other items that have personal meanings are gone. That to me, would be very difficult to handle emotionally.
There have been an uncommon number of house fires this year. I don’t know what to attribute it to. Maybe the harsh winter is to blame. In the Wilsons’ case it is believed to be faulty electrical wiring that ignited the blaze that simply spread like wildfire with wind gusts up to 50 mph helping it along.
Despite all the fires, you would least expect the sheriff’s house to be the next one to go up in flames. Sitting in downtown Harrison, the house is a stone’s throw from the courthouse and jail, and only a few blocks from the fire department. It is a well-kept house on a street with nice homes. Not exactly a candidate for fire. But then again, the Fire Gods don’t discriminate.
Sheriff Wilson, in typical John fashion, was for the most part, upbeat about it all. The man that has helped so many people in Clare County, and is probably considered the area’s most popular politician, was more worried about others than his own situation. Despite the outpouring of sympathy on Facebook and other social media, Wilson said he had a great insurance policy and enough money to take care of his family’s material needs.
So don’t despair, readers. Please offer your condolences and any help you might be able to give, but don’t pity the Sheriff. I believe the Wilsons will make the best of a bad situation. They will rebuild and carry on their lives that at least partially, have been devoted to helping others that are less fortunate.
NEWS THAT A NEW RESTAURANT/BAR might be starting up in Clare got my heart palpitating last week. Local Clare businessmen, Steve Barnes andTravis Harrison along with Melissa Weaver presented a proposal in an effort to seek a liquor license. Word is they hope to design and build a brew pub in one of the vacant buildings downtown.
In my opinion that’s just what the doctor ordered. It accomplishes two things- it takes away another vacant storefront, which Clare has too many and it provides another food/liquor option which Clare could use. Let’s hope the trio can get this project off the ground. It would be a terrific addition to downtown Clare.