Update: Hopkinton ‘dream home’ goes up in flames, family thankful no one was hurt

Megan McLean inspects the damage of her parents’ home on Granite Valley Road in Hopkinton on Thursday.

Megan McLean inspects the damage of her parents’ home on Granite Valley Road in Hopkinton on Thursday. GEOFF FORESTER photos / Monitor staff

Rick Buck looking to see if his safe is intact after a fire destroyed his newly built Hopkinton home Wednesday night.

Rick Buck looking to see if his safe is intact after a fire destroyed his newly built Hopkinton home Wednesday night. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

SRUTHI GOPALAKRISHNAN—

Rick and Cindy Buck’s home in Hopkinton was engulfed in flames on Wednesday evening.

Rick and Cindy Buck’s home in Hopkinton was engulfed in flames on Wednesday evening. Courtesy of Hopkinton Police Department

All that is left of the house at 18 Granite Valley in Contoocook on Thursday, November 30, 2023.

All that is left of the house at 18 Granite Valley in Contoocook on Thursday, November 30, 2023. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

SRUTHI GOPALAKRISHNAN—

Owner Rick Buck looks over the damage to his home at 18 Granite Valley Road in Hopkinton on Thursday.

Owner Rick Buck looks over the damage to his home at 18 Granite Valley Road in Hopkinton on Thursday.

Megan McLean inspects the damage of her parent’s home on Granite Valley in Contoocook on Friday, November 30, 2023.

Megan McLean inspects the damage of her parent’s home on Granite Valley in Contoocook on Friday, November 30, 2023. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

The garage area f 18 Granity Valley in Contoocook on Thursday, November 30, 2023.

The garage area f 18 Granity Valley in Contoocook on Thursday, November 30, 2023. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

By SRUTHI GOPALAKRISHNAN

Monitor staff

Published: 11-30-2023 9:24 AM

Modified: 11-30-2023 4:27 PM


Rick and Cindy Buck decided to relocate from Pennsylvania to Hopkinton to be closer to their daughter and grandchildren in Bow.

The retirement home they built 18 months ago on Granite Valley met a heartbreaking fate on Wednesday evening as it was consumed by flames that spared next to nothing.

The next morning, Rick Buck sifted through the charred remains to make sure their vital records kept in a fireproof safe made it through the fire.

Then they were off to buy a few clothes, since everything else was gone.

“I guess the first order of business today is to hug our grandkids and go clothes shopping,” Rick Buck said in a social media post. “Everything else in the house can be replaced! It’s just stuff! Some of it’s really cool stuff, but it’s just stuff nonetheless!”

Their daughter, Megan McLean, arrived at the house Wednesday night before them and witnessed her parents’ dream retirement home reduce to ashes.

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“I panicked a little bit because I know how much heart and soul my parents put into this house,” said McLean, who saw the flames blazing from the garage when she pulled next to the house. “It was a lot for them to retire and move from someplace they’ve lived for 30 years in Pennsylvania and then to move up here where they didn’t know anyone except for me.”

Hopkinton’s small-town charm drew them in. They saw it as a place where they could forge lasting memories with family and new friends.

The Hopkinton Fire and Police Departments responded to the fire at 7:50 p.m.

“By the time my officer got there, it was fully engulfed,” said Hopkinton Police Chief Thomas Hennessey. “Flames were coming out of the windows of the home.”

It took 45 minutes to put out the flames, said Hennessey, but the fire had already taken its toll.

“Pretty much nothing is salvageable out of it,” Hennessey said. “If it’s not burnt, it is either smoke or water-damaged.”

The inside of the home was crafted by Rick Buck who is a contractor.

Granite Valley is a short, dead-end street off Kearsarge Avenue with three homes on five lots. Town records indicate that the Buck family bought the land in 2019 and built the home in 2022.

“Please keep the homeowners in your thoughts as they try to process this significant loss,” Hennessey posted on social media.

Luck also played a role for the couple on Wednesday evening. Usually, Rick attends a group meeting in Warner, while Cindy is alone at home.

But on the night of the fire, they were both at a concert in Laconia when they received a call from the neighbor alerting them to the fire.

Stripped down to just their car and the clothes on their backs, the couple is now staying at their daughter’s house in Bow while they process what had just happened.

Expressing gratitude on social media, Rick Buck thanked first responders and the community.

“We love Contoocook so lets try this again,” he wrote. “This whole situation is out of my control so time to accept that and move on to the things I can control. Today is a new opportunity to thrive. The rebuilding of our lives starts today!”