Like Phoenix from ashes, Camp home taking shape

Published 1:19 pm Tuesday, August 19, 2003

By By BEN RAYMOND LODE / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- Mary and Donald Camp of Niles don't necessarily mind living in a trailer.
At least not for the time it takes construction workers to fully renovate their 19th century home on 308 S. Barrett St.
The house, which sits on a four-and-a-half acre property, and is among the town's largest residential properties, was severely damaged during a fire on a bitterly cold February night this year.
Firefighters worked all night to put out the blaze in freezing conditions, which left a few of the fire crew with frost injuries.
The second floor was totally destroyed, but the Camp's were able to save wooden furniture and objects located on the first that could stand water.
After the fire, the Camps moved into Brentwood Assisted Living before they were given permission by the city to live in the trailer on their own property until their home is fully renovated.
They moved into the trailer on May 1.
Construction workers have been at it for a month now and the house, which has been untouched since the fire, is beginning to take on its new shape.
A large crane hoisted materials up on the roof on Monday and the construction workers busied themselves getting trusses in place.
Donald said he and Mary for a while did consider tearing down the remains of the house and building a brand new home.
But that was before they knew the costs of doing so.
Donald, on-site to see the crane in action on Monday, said they found out that it would cost an estimated $600,000 to tear the whole house down and build a new one.
Donald said he and Mary never even really thought about moving after the fire, one of the reasons being the barn Donald built, a barn in which he does many of his hobbies.
Mary, who was also on-site while the crane was in action on Monday, is looking forward to the day when the two can move back into the house.
She clearly remembers the day of the fire.