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91-year-old New Roads woman loses family home in fire; community lending a helping hand

11 months 2 weeks 5 days ago Sunday, March 05 2023 Mar 5, 2023 March 05, 2023 5:43 PM March 05, 2023 in News
Source: WBRZ

NEW ROADS - What was once a family home filled with memories now sits as charred rubble on Dolph Street in New Roads.

On Feb. 13, 91-year-old Mildred Duhe was at home when she heard a noise come from her laundry room. Minutes later, flames erupted.

"When I discovered the house was burning, I came to the living area and told my son the house was on fire. By the time we got out, it was almost 1/3 gone. It was moving very rapidly," Mildred said.

The fire was so big that it destroyed their cars and spread to the neighboring house.

Mildred says it's a miracle that she and her family are here to tell the story.

"I thank God for preserving my life and my sons', and if it were not so, we would have been charred in that house. Everything else is replaceable, and if it doesn't get replaced, so be it," she said.

It's said to be an electrical fire, but the cause is still under investigation. As for the family, they're left picking up the pieces of their childhood home built by Mildred's husband in 1969.

"We had a lot of memories in that house," Mildred said.

"We had a party every Saturday. We would gather here and feed everybody in the neighborhood that came through," said Mary V. Jackson, Mildred's sister.

"We're just going to start over again and make new memories in chapter two," said Michelle Duhe, Mildred's daughter.

But with destruction comes resiliency. The community has now banded together to lend a helping hand to the family in their time of need.

"Some people we didn't even know have come through, and it's just been remarkable. It's like the domino effect. It started with one little domino, and it's spreading all over. Even out of state, people have been calling and sending," Jackson said.

"A young lady took her shopping for some items that she might need. Didn't even know her," said Jarvis Duhe, Mildred's grandson.

The Pointe Coupee Sheriff's Office is also putting together a jambalaya fundraiser on Saturday, March 11, at the Scott Civic Center in New Roads from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Plates cost $10.

A GoFundMe has also been set up to help Mildred out, which you can find here.

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