WELD – A man who barely escaped his burning house last Tuesday night then watched his home of 30 years be consumed by flames may soon have a home again.

Former Weld Constable Lee Buck and his wife, Sue, who was at work in Augusta when the fire broke out last week, lost nearly everything they owned, including irreplaceable photographs of their two children.

One of the oldest homes in town, the Bucks’ house burned so quickly that firefighters who arrived on the scene were unable to do anything to save it.

Almost immediately after the fire, people here started planning a benefit turkey dinner for the Bucks. It’ll be held Friday. Proceeds, along with a so-called minute amount of insurance money, will be added to the time, money, materials and expertise already donated to help build the Buck’s a new home.

The house will be built “totally for free” aside from whatever money the Bucks get from their insurance company, Meredith Minear said. She’s organizing the benefits to help the Bucks.

Jerry Nering, the owner of the general store, “said once that this isn’t really a town – it’s a community,” Minear added Tuesday. “A community pulls together to help people whenever they need it,” she said.

“We’re a little, small community, less than 500 people live here, so we shop out of town,” Minear added. Many of the shops Weld people frequent have pitched in to help with Friday night’s benefit, she said. Edmund’s in Phillips, Food City in Wilton, Bradbury’s Market in Carthage, the Rainbow Caf at Mt. Blue, and the Kawanhee Inn are contributing turkeys, rolls and other things.

“People are calling from all over the place saying what can we do?'” Minear said.

She said the best pies in the world are made by the women in Weld. “There’ll be lots of homemade pie and lots of homemade pickled beets and homemade pickles and veggie side dishes that people in town are making” at the supper as well.

Sue and Lee Buck will be at the benefit with their children and their children’s families, Minear said. Most of the 400 or so people who live in Weld are expected to attend, she added.

The strong sense of community in town is one of the reasons people move here, she said. “People come here. Seriously, I was at a function Sunday afternoon and heard people say they had chance to buy property in several different locations but chose here because of what they had heard and understood about what kind of a community this is. That’s true,” Minear said.

The benefit will begin at 5:50 p.m. Friday at the Old Town Hall.