Single mother loses car in fire

  • Angie Hutchinson of Greenfield and two of her four children, Colltan, 10, and Wyatt, 14, were driving in Peterborough when her car caught fire on Dec. 5. Staff photo by Ashley Saari

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 12/24/2018 11:05:35 AM

On December 5, Angie Hutchinson of Greenfield watched her 2003 GMC Envoy go up in flames in the middle of the road in Peterborough.

“I just thought, ‘How am I going to make it work out?” Hutchinson said in an interview at her home in Greenfield on Wednesday. “I didn’t know what I was going to do.”

The vehicle had just come out of storage, Hutchinson said. During the warmer months, she’d been using an older-model Mustang to get around, but knew the rear-wheel drive wasn’t going to cut it in the winter weather. Her 2003 Envoy hadn’t been driven in about two years, and she’d spent the last several weeks putting about $700 – about every extra penny she had – into replacing the brakes, rotors, battery and installing a new back window and getting the vehicle registered. 

That Wednesday was the first day she had the vehicle out on the road, using it to pick up two of her four children from school, and filling it with gas. But on her way home, the car in front of her stopped, and the driver got out to tell her there was smoke coming from the hood.

Before long, the smoke became fire, and the car was aflame.

She and her children, both teenagers, were able to get out of the car and were fine, but Hutchinson said the loss of the vehicle was a significant blow.

“It was burnt to a crisp. It was a complete loss,” Hutchinson said. 

Hutchinson is a single mother of four children, and said she doesn’t receive child support and is the family’s sole provider. A bartender in Bedford, she said even if she only has to miss a few days this winter where she can’t make it into work because of snowy weather, it will have an impact.

“I hate to say I’m a someone who lives paycheck to paycheck, but if I don’t go to work, I don’t make money and I can’t support my kids, and that’s just unacceptable,” she said.

Hutchinson has looked at purchasing a used replacement that’s large enough to service her five-person family, in a price range of about $5,000. But that’s still out of her price range, she said, even if she were to trade in her Mustang, which is worth about $2,000.

Hutchinson said she was in a good position before the fire, but the pressure of having to find the funds to purchase a new vehicle, in addition to losing the money she put into repairs on the car that burned, has put her in a pinch. She said after she finished repairing her car, the next big expense she had begun saving for was getting her heating propane tank filled. She said what shopping she’d completed before the start of December is now the totality of her children’s Christmas gifts. 

“I had a plan. It’s all just gotten a lot harder. I don’t have any other options. Usually, I’m not a person to take a handout,” Hutchinson said. “But I’m in a position where I have to ask for people’s help. I’m just too far away from where I need to be.”

Hutchinson is raising funds for a replacement vehicle on GoFundMe, available at https://tinyurl.com/ydb378yg, or by searching “new car for Angie” on the GoFundMe website. 

 

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 244 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT. 


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