Heartbreak after Beckwith family’s home destroyed by fire
Heartbreak after Beckwith family’s home destroyed by fire
September 13, 2017
Carlton Place Almonte Canadian Gazette
Artible by: Tara Gesner
 
Family left with nothing after fire destroys home

The Eden family has lost everything after fire destroyed their Beckwith home. Beckwith firefighters were dispatched to 344 Balmoral Dr. around 10:45 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 11. The following day (Sept. 12), the brigade worked on hot spots and utilized a backhoe. - Tara Gesner/Metroland

The Eden family has lost everything after fire destroyed their Beckwith home.
 
Beckwith firefighters were dispatched to 344 Balmoral Dr. around 10:45 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 11. The Mississippi Mills Fire Department was asked a short time later to provide a tanker.
 
The owner of the home is Diana Eden, who lives with her three children: William, Alexander and Laura.
 
“The cause of the fire is accidental,” Beckwith Fire Department fire chief Bill McGonegal told the Canadian Gazette.
 
When firefighters arrived on scene, “all we could do was contain it,” he continued. “It was fully engulfed.”
 
Owing to the intensity of the blaze, a neighbouring home was doused with water.
 
The following morning, on Sept. 12, the Beckwith department was still on site, looking after hot spots and working with a backhoe.
 
The last year has been very difficult for Diana and her children, and now their clothes, family photos and furnishings are somewhere in the blackened rubble that was a home.
 
Covered by insurance, the family will rebuild.
 
Diana and her late husband, Edwin, purchased their “dream home” in July 2016, a place big enough for a lifetime of memories. However, suddenly and unexpectedly, Edwin passed away from cancer in January this year. Adding to the sorrow, Diana lost her father to the disease in July.
 
Currently, Diana and her children are staying with a friend in Ottawa. One of three family cats joins them. The other two are missing after the fire.
 
A massive outpouring of support from area communities has resulted in donations of clothing, shoes, gift and gas cards, toiletries and so much more.
 
The Eden family is still in shock, but Diana wanted to thank everyone for their help. In a statement to this newspaper, she said: “Community support has been overwhelming – the kindness and spontaneous outreach from people in Almonte, Beckwith, Carleton Place, Ottawa and Perth. Our family is feeling the support and compassion of neighbours. We especially want to thank the Beckwith firefighters who came so promptly, and in particular the firefighter who went back to the burning house to get Alexander.”
 
McGonegal praised the members of his brigade for their work, and for volunteer firefighter Mike Smith – “good job.”
 
Volunteering with the Beckwith department for just over three months, Smith was the first person to arrive at the fire on Monday night. He lives around the corner. Without a doubt, his quick-thinking and courageous efforts saved Alexander who went back to the house.
 
William was working at the time of the blaze, but Diana, Alexander and Laura were present. No one was injured.
 
Employed with the Ottawa Catholic School Board, Diana is a teacher at St. Michael School in Corkery. William is a recent Algonquin College graduate. He studied aircraft maintenance engineering. Right now, he has a part-time job. Alexander attends St. Luke Catholic High School in Smiths Falls, and Laura is a student at Notre Dame
Catholic High School in Carleton Place.
 
Hometown Hearts, a Carleton Place group, is hosting a barbecue fundraiser for the Eden family on Wednesday, Sept. 20, taking place between 4 and 7 p.m. outside The Beckwith Butcher. The business is located at 1 Costello Dr.
 
“We are looking at a box raffle and working on a bake sale too,” president Lisa Occomore said.
 
In the simplest of terms, Hometown Hearts supports the community, whether it is a house fire or a child fighting a horrible disease. Previously, the group has raised thousands to fight post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).