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Fire and recovery

Charlene Ward is a resilient person, but she can’t help becoming emotional when she talks about the fire that destroyed her Gloucester Point home in the early morning hours of Tuesday, April 25.

“When I saw what had happened, I was devastated,” she said. “Everything I worked for my whole life and my treasures, all gone.”

Charlene and her mother, Shirley Ward, both well-known local realtors who live next door to each other, planned to have dinner together at Charlene’s home on Monday evening (April 24). Charlene was going to make crab cakes, so she put some oil in a pan to heat when, suddenly, the electricity went out.

A nearby transformer had blown up, leaving the neighborhood without power, so the two went out to dinner. When they returned later that evening, they decided they would both stay at Charlene’s house, sleeping together in the master bedroom, along with Charlene’s little dog Isabella. It didn’t occur to either of them...

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