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House fire, N. Fourth Ave., Ann Arbor, May 2013

Burned Out!

Rescued kitten brings a smile to vet.

by Eve Silberman

posted 6/7/2013

"I've had a lot of adventures in my life, but I could have done without this one," says Tom Fournier, eighty-seven. As he cleaned up his kitchen one night last month, he noticed light flickering outside his window--and found his front porch in flames. He left quickly by the back door, and then, from a neighbor's porch, watched "thirty-four years of my life burn." Fournier remained calm as he watched firefighters poke holes in his walls and ceiling to quench the blaze--and broke into a smile when a fireman rescued his kitten, Whispurrs. "Boy, that took some guts to go into that burning house and get that little cat!"

Profiled as an "Ann Arborite" last June, Fournier landed in Normandy on D-Day, marched against the Vietnam War, raised eight kids with his late wife, Joan, worked at jobs ranging from heavy equipment sales to counseling, and recently returned to the Catholic Church after a thirty-year absence. Soon after the fire, he moved into a nearby apartment, where he'll be able to watch the rebuilding of his badly damaged home. (For the moment, Whispurrs is staying with relatives.)    (end of article)

[Originally published in June, 2013.]

 



 
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