EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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June 10, 2013

Kids raise money for house fire victim

Plaistow man in induced coma but expected to recover

PLAISTOW— William Bartlett remains in critical condition with burns covering half of his body after a house fire last month. But his family is optimistic that he will recover.

Bartlett, 29, suffered the burns when his house was destroyed by an early morning fire on May 17. He was able to escape with his dog through a window in the house but had to be airlifted to Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

He remains in an induced coma in the hospital, but his mother said he has improved every day.

“He’s doing very well,” Rella Bartlett said. “They’ve done many surgeries, but doctors say he is healing quicker then they expected.”

She said doctors told him that her son’s recovery is about 10 days ahead of the anticipated schedule at this point.

“It’s still too early to tell when he will be out of the hospital,” she said. “But doctors told us that in a full year he may be somewhat back to normal. We’re just amazed with his progress.”

Bartlett’s dog, Roxy, made a full recovery after suffering burns to her paws and nose.

While Bartlett remains in the hospital, the community has rallied around him with numerous fundraisers and benefits.

“The whole community has just been absolutely amazing,” Rella Bartlett said. “It’s been very overwhelming for us.”

The mother said residents have offered to cook meals and donate gas cards and gift cards as she travels back and forth between Plaistow and Boston.

An anonymous group of residents created the William C. Bartlett Fund to accept proceeds from all the fundraisers. Since then, it seems as if the entire town has wanted to get involved.

Plaistow resident Brian Stack said his two sons Brady, 7, and Cameron, 5 told him they wanted to help after having to drive by the ruins of the home every day.

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