06-25-2008, 04:10 AM
Join Date: Oct 2006
| | Tim Sylvia Helps Out A Childhood Friend Who Lost His House And His Son In A Fire.
Bangor Daily News
Only a few clues remained Friday at Rick McNeilís property on Abbott Lane to suggest that a deadly fire occurred there 14 days ago. |
A small birch tree had black streaks where it was touched by the April 19 flames, and some of the melted electrical lines that had served McNeilís old mobile home were coiled up on the ground. But the charred remnants of the mobile home were gone. Crumbling pages of books, their edges burned, that had blown about the wind-exposed lot had been removed, and the gnarled forms of fire-damaged tools and appliances had been hauled away.
Where all these things had been, marking the spot where McNeil was critically burned and where his 13-year-old son, Tommy McNeil, died, stood a gleaming white mobile home.
After a truck driver maneuvered the home onto a new concrete pad early Friday morning, relatives of McNeil crawled underneath and made adjustments to make sure it was level.
McNeil, however, was not there to see his new home because heís still recovering from his injuries at Maine Medical Center in Portland, according to his family. They said he continues to improve but likely will have to recuperate for several more weeks before doctors allow him to return home.
McNeilís sister, Carol McAlpine, said Friday that the fire chief is still on a respirator and being kept sedated, though doctors have brought him out of his medically induced coma a few times to check his progress. They have performed a tracheotomy on McNeil so there no longer are tubes in his mouth and throat, she said, but McNeil has not been well enough to communicate during the brief times he has been awake.
"Itís going to be a long process," McAlpine said. "Everyoneís different [with] how fast they can heal. Heís getting a little better."
Jim Edgerly, McNeilís half brother and the townís assistant fire chief, said the burns on McNeilís face are improving and that McNeil seems to be aware of his surroundings during the times he is conscious. McNeil also suffered burns to his arms and back before he was rescued from the burning mobile home by Paul Edgerly, another half brother who lives across the street.
"He knows whatís going on," Jim Edgerly said of McNeil.
The siblings each said they hope McNeil can be transferred soon to a hospital in Bangor so itís easier for his friends and family, including his surviving son, Richard McNeil, to visit him as he heals. Richard, 14, was staying with his grandmother Doris McNeil the night of the fire. A student at the local Cave Hill School, Richard continues to reside next door at his grandmotherís as he waits for his father to return home, they said.
"Portland is a long way away for us," McAlpine said.
The mobile home needs improvement before McNeil can move in, Edgerly said. Electricity and plumbing have yet to be connected, and the mobile home lacks basic furnishings such as tables and beds. Its electric stove will be replaced with a gas stove because the power often goes out in the area, Edgerly said, but there is no refrigerator.
Rent-A-Center and ColorTyme, both in Ellsworth, are donating some furniture, Edgerly said, and several other businesses have donated materials and services to restoring McNeilís home. Sargentís Manufactured Homes of Ellsworth donated the structure while Bangor Hydro-Electric Co., City Line Sand & Gravel, EBS, Gilman Electric and Home Depot also have chipped in, he said.
Meanwhile, friends, family and neighbors have organized fundraisers. McNeil, a self-employed painter, lacked health insurance.
A benefit breakfast with raffles is scheduled for 6 a.m. Sunday, May 4, at the Eastbrook Community Building on Route 200.
Tim Sylvia, an Eastbrook native and a former champion with Ultimate Fighting Championship, will sign autographs and sell T-shirts 1-4 p.m. Sunday, May 18, at the same location. All proceeds from Sylviaís appearance will go to McNeil and his family.
An all-day benefit for McNeil with a golf tournament, auction and a dance has been scheduled for May 24, at the White Birches restaurant on Route 1 in Hancock. Information is available on the Fire Departmentís Web site, Eastbrook, Maine Volunteer Fire Department.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation by Maine State Police and the State Fire Marshalís Office.
Police have said they interviewed a woman who was in the trailer when the fire started and who escaped without injuries. They have declined to identify the woman or to say whether she may know how the fire started.
Investigators hope to interview McNeil about the fire when he is well enough to talk, police have said.
Tim is a good guy, he just has been a disaster as an entertainer...Big Props to the Big Guy.
06-25-2008, 04:49 AM
Status: "Pain dont hurt"
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Jersey
I wonder how much Tim brought in with that... But yea sounds like a good guy, helping out a friend like that. I wonder if he donated any of his own money?
"I am beginning to see you as something I might of stepped in... and I don't like the smell of it" -Burton (From Rad)
"Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night." -Dave Barry
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