Putnam Family Reflects on Daughters Lost

A month after a fire kills two of her daughters, a Putnam mother vows to carry on their legacy.
8 months pregnant, Lauren Auger escaped the Prospect Street apartment when a fire broke out in the early morning hours of January 22.

Her 3-year old, Alexis and 10-month old, Ava,  did not. Its been a month of intense lows and an incredible high for Auger and her boyfriend, John Newsom.

They were forced to bury two beautiful young girls. They lost their home and all their possessions. Then came along the blessing that they say gives them the strength to move forward.

“The last thing I remember is just screaming for them,” says Auger. “They got me outside and I refused to move from the doorway because I wanted  to go back up.

This blended family, John with three kids from a previous relationship, Laura with her two daughters, were living on the 3rd floor of the multi family home when it burst into flames.

Firefighters tried to reach the two sisters, but the smoke and heat proved to be too much for them to handle. Newsom  and Auger, who was 8 months pregnant, spent the next two days in the hospital .

Now they want to use their grief to educate the community on fire safety to make sure that “nothing like this ever happens to anybody ever again.”

On Saturday, the Putnam Volunteer Fire Department will hold an open house to teach  citizens what to look for and to handout fire alarms and other safety tools. The idea came following the deadly fire.

“We want while its still fresh in everybody’s memory, “ says Asst. Fire Chief Bob Campbell.

“We want to get it out there right now and get the smoke detectors into the houses that don’t have them.”

After all the heartache, this couple did experience some joy. Last Saturday, Laura gave birth to their first child together, a baby boy – Connor.

“He was born early. Actually just between the two girls birthdays. So it kind of worked out perfect for us.”

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