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James and Susan Maguire comfort each other as smoke billows from their duplex Monday afternoon. The fire began after the shooting incident that claimed the life of Brentwood Officer Steve Arkell. (HUNTER MCGEE/Union Leader Correspondent)

Fund will help Brentwood couple rebuild


BRENTWOOD — For Sue and Jim Maguire, their house was their everything.

“It’s very painful,” said Lorraine Maguire, Jim’s sister-in-law. “They never had children, so they had to depend on each other. They so valued their personal items. Their home was basically their castle.”

On May 12, a house fire and subsequent explosion destroyed the couple’s duplex home in Brentwood.

Prior to the explosion, Michael Nolan, 47, shot and killed police officer Stephen Arkell. Arkell was responding to a domestic incident at the duplex when he was killed.

Sue and Jim Maguire lived in the same duplex as Nolan and his father, Walter.

Michael Nolan was killed in the explosion. The Maguires were not home at the time of incident.

However, all of their items were destroyed and their two cats died in the blaze. Lorraine Maguire recently started a fund to help the couple rebuild their lives.

“I was talking to people around me trying to think of what we could do to help,” Lorraine Maguire. “It was the quickest way I could think of to help.”

Sue and Jim Maguire were homebodies, explained Lorraine Maguire. The pair spent significant amounts of time hanging around and improving their Brentwood duplex. While many of their friends would go out throughout the week — Sue and Jim truly enjoyed spending time together in their home, she said.

“(Sue) very much loves to cook, she loves to do house things — cooking, cleaning, those types of things,” said Lorraine Maguire. “That house was all they had.”

The couple did have homeowners’ insurance. Lorraine Maguire said, but she hopes the fund will help the couple as they start the rebuilding process.

“When something like this happens and it’s someone you know, it really affects you in a different way,” said Lorraine Maguire. “The whole process is very painful.”

Donations can be made to the Maguire Fire Donation Fund at any People’s United Bank location. Checks must be made payable to the “Maguire Fire Donation Fund”.

abeland@unionleader.com

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