Published DateGILFORD – Four days after a chimney fire nearly destroyed her home, the 17-year-old girl who alerted her parents to the fire was given a surprise birthday party at the Marriott TownPlace Suites Hotel last night.
Shania Mulley was joined by her friends and family for pizza, snacks, and a swim in the pool as a surprise for her 17th birthday.
Shania, who was speechless with surprise when she was lured to the lobby by her mother to ostensibly get more towels, said she was really grateful to all the support she and her family have gotten from the local community and her friends who joined her last night.
It was just before 11 a.m. last Friday night when Shania was awakened by what she thought was a squirrel or some other kind of animal in the attic.
She woke her parents, who went into the living room and realized the fire in the wood stove had burned through the chimney and the attic was on fire.
The family was able to safely leave the home and call 9-1-1, but there is about $80,000 of damage to the structure that Becky Mulley said could take months to repair.
The family was taken in at the Marriott and Becky Mulley, Shania's mother, said the staff and management there have "been absolutely wonderful." The hotel staff gave the family the use of the pool for Shania's party and put a "Happy Birthday Shania" sign in the lobby.
Robert Mulley, Shania's father, said he and his family have been treated wonderfully by the entire community. "I think at least 20 people have reached out and offered us a place to live," he said.
Becky Mulley also wanted to thank the community — especially the Marriott and the Belmont Fire Department, to whom she brought cookies yesterday. "Even the insurance company has been wonderful," Becky Mulley said.
The Mulleys will be staying at the Marriott until the 28th of January when they will begin renting a home in Gunstock Acres in Gilford
Shania, a junior at Belmont High School, has her drivers license and will be able to drive herself to school.
"She is my angel," said Becky Mulley.