PARIS – Lisa Martin isn’t about to give up on the little red cottage she worked so hard to own.

When a basement electrical fire swept up one wall this summer, Martin’s home at 5 Lord’s Lane was rendered unlivable. Both back bedrooms were gutted, and half of the roof was gone.

Martin, 38, was out of work and had no money. While friends and family offered her temporary housing, she decided to tough it out.

For the first month and a half, she and her daughter Lacey, 13, an eighth-grader at Oxford Hills Middle School, lived in tents.

A friend built a pole shelter with plastic over the tents to keep the rain out. They stayed dry, mostly.

Other friends have come to their aid: Mike and Betty McGlaughlin, Melissa Kessel, her church community at the Norway Baptist Church.

Then another friend, Rick Tripp, donated a small camper-trailer. It has no heat, and no water, but they have power, thanks to a neighbor who is allowing them to plug into their system.

They also recently got power and water restored to the home, which sustained about $30,000 damage and is covered by a huge blue tarp to keep the rain out.

Despite months of work carting off debris and cleaning up, the home is far from livable.

And winter is coming.

Lisa said she can take the tough conditions, but it’s been going on for three months. She has insurance, but had to hire a lawyer, and is still awaiting a settlement. She doesn’t want her daughter to live like this.

So Martin, daughter of Forrest Martin, owner of Martin’s Store in Norway, and an Oxford Hills native, is reaching out to the community for help. A benefit supper will be held from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday at the South Paris Legion Hall for Martin and her daughter.

“I’d be so happy to see a whole truckload of people come and help me rip that roof off,” she said. With a new roof in place, she and her daughter could move back into the house, and work on the interior repairs over the winter.

“If we can get that roof off, the rest will be peaches and cream,” she said Tuesday.

Several area businesses, such as New England Public Warehouse and Record Lumber, have agreed to help with plywood and other building supplies.

At the supper, Martin’s friend Steve Seams will provide the entertainment with his band, Fast Train. There will be a 50-50 raffle, and raffles of numerous items donated by area businesses.

Martin said she gets discouraged, but she’s been heartened by the outpouring of support from friends.

“I love my little house, and I’m going to move back in there, come hell or high water,” she said.

An account has also been set up at KeyBank to accept donations to help Martin and her daughter. Donations to the account may be brought to any KeyBank branch.



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