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.