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Jun 25, 2016 4:17 PM

Somersworth community cleans up after house fire

SOMERSWORTH - An elderly couple who lost their son in a devastating house fire last year got help from their community cleaning up the debris on Saturday.

In May of 2015, Dr. Imants Millers and his wife Grace lost their 54-year-old son Janis Millers in the fire. He was taking a nap in the bedroom above the porch when the fire started.

He nearly made it out but was overcome by smoke while trying to escape through the hallway.

Nearly everything in the Millers’ house was destroyed by the fire. Saturday, about 100 people volunteered to clean the house and get it ready to sell. The family hopes to use the proceeds to buy a mobile home to live in. Since the fire, they've been moving from motel to motel.

Because the house was underinsured, they were unable to recoup the value of the old Victorian that housed four generations of the Millers' family.

Tim Metivier, who organized the one-day clean-up, said volunteers filled five dumpsters with fire-damaged things they pulled out of the house on South Street. He says it would have cost about $35,000 to have the house professionally cleared had townspeople not volunteered to do the work.

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