Jan 2, 2015 5:58 PM

Dozens of volunteers help New Hampton family after fire

NEW HAMPTON - It's a home the Batchelders worried they lost for good.

"I thought we were going to have to come in and just be able to put up some whatever we could. Plastic or whatever," said Diana Batchelder.

A chimney fire last month forced the family to spend Christmas in a hotel. Without insurance coverage, they faced an uphill battle figuring out where they would call home for the holidays. That's when firefighter Stephen Hanser stepped in to help.

He started collecting donations for the family. And many jumped at the chance to help. The Common Man Restaurant opened its doors to the family on Christmas, while their owner Alex Ray pitched in at the house.

"He was painting with me on the final day to get them back in. You don't see that very often," said Stephen Hanser.

The family continues to rebuild their home here in New Hampton and they're able to do so thanks to the selfless efforts of many in the community who have never met the Batchelder family."

Just down the street from the home, the '104 Diner' raised over $ 7,000 for the family.

"A few of our workers that work here live right down the road from the Batcheldders and I've been working here for a little bit now and we really always want to try and help out the community," said 104 Diner Assistant Manager Kayla Dudman.

Hanser points out firefighters from Keene to Concord and several businesses have also helped.

"Sometimes people deserve a second chance and to give it to them it felt great," said Hanser.


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