It was just a house fire, reported around 10:30 p.m. Sunday. An old place in a little tiny section of Armstrong County called Boggsville, a hamlet not big enough to make it on maps of the Pittsburgh area. The old Victorian’s residents made it out without serious injury, so the fire wasn’t remarkable enough that it made the PG or the Trib; it warranted just a 30-second clip on KDKA’s morning news.

It means a lot to us, though, especially to Mrs. Crappy. The house that burned to the ground last night was the home of her great-grandparents, her grandparents and, for a while, for her. It was the house that her mother and aunt and uncle grew up in; it was home base for the adventures she had with her cousins as a kid on hot summer afternoons.

For long time, Mrs. Crappy’s family was Boggsville’s population; she has recounted frequently that Karen and Jenny and she could stop at any house along the road, walk in and get a cold drink when they needed a break from the sun, because they knew everyone — and everyone knew them.

And that house was the hub of the community.

Mrs. Crappy’s family hadn’t owned the house for years, and most of the family members who lived in the area had long since moved on or passed away. It’s not the kind of disaster that will effect us the way it will effect the people who were living there. But to Mrs. Crappy, it was an important place. It was where her family came from. It was where she celebrated Christmas for the first half of her life.

And although she actually lived there for just a short period of time, it was very much her home.


  1. My condolences to Mrs. Crappy. Houses and places from which we come are important. DearDR lost things in a house fire once, and it’s stayed with him.

    I am glad no one was hurt. I hope Mrs. C has lots of great memories, and shares them often. That’s how to keep them alive!



  2. Please tell the Mrs. that I am very sorry for the loss of “home.” It doesn’t matter that she wasn’t living there at the time, “home” is a special place in our hearts.


  3. Please give Mrs. C a hug – childhood memories are really bad to mess with – I’m glad her family has since moved away –

    We – the kewyson’s – had a similar experience 2 years ago – 1 generation up – google ‘greensburg kansas tornado photos’ and you’ll see where my dad grew up – my grandfather built the grain silo – pretty much the only structure left – total town devistation.

    I flew over Kansas this past year and saw the town – still devoid of greenery (at least from 38,000 ft.) –

    Back to Mrs. C – be extra nice to her – her pain may run deep (okay – enough of being a nay-sayer) –


  4. Amen to onedamnthing.

    My condolences to Mrs. Crappy as well. I’ve never experienced this, but I do often pass my great-grandparents’ house that is no longer part of the family, and that is very odd. I know that house like the back of my hand and can recall exactly what it looked like when my great-grandparents were living in it. It sometimes pains me to pass it and think that it could be a lot different inside.

    Homes are interesting places that mean so much to people in so many different ways.


  5. These comments are all very nice, but did anyone of these individuals consider the impact this fire had on the current owner. He just happens to be my brother and at 70 years old he has just lost everything. How about a bit of compassion here.


  6. R. Hogan: You’re absolutely right, which is why I pointed out that the fire is a much bigger tragedy for your family than it is for mine. I wish your brother and his family all the best as they recover.


Comments are closed.