Girl Scouts give family hope after fire destroyed house, killed son

By Jillian Marshall

January 16, 2014 Updated Jan 16, 2014 at 12:38 AM EDT

(WBNG Binghamton) Three fingers, a promise and a carload of clothing, school supplies and support. That was the pledge from a local Girl Scout troop doing their duty to help a family that lost a home and a son in a fire.

On Jan. 7, a fire ripped through the house at 9266 West Creek Road in Richford. The fire destroyed the Hulse family's home and killed their 4-year-old son, Trent.

Parents, neighbors and firefighters tried to save him. William, Trent's father, suffered burns to his hands.

On Wednesday, the Tioga County Fire Bureau determined the fire started in the master bedroom, but the damage was too severe to find out what sparked the blaze that left William, Leanna and their two daughters homeless.

Terry Silba, a Newark Valley Girl Scout troop leader, decided to help the Hulses by having local troops donate to the family.

"They have lost everything right after the Christmas holiday, but they also lost a child," Silba said.

In one day, Newark Valley Troop 41211 filled a car with clothes, toys, school supplies and monetary donations.

"We just want to help them get back on their feet," said 12-year-old Girl Scout Emma Gregrow, of Newark Valley.

The Girl Scout Cadettes then reached out to more than 100 other Girl Scouts, from Tioga and Broome counties, asking for their help.

Silba said supporting their community is part of the Girl Scout Promise, which states: "To help people at all times and to live by the Girl Scout Law."

Patti Ruland, of Johnson City, organized most of the donations for the Hulse family.

"They are still trying to come to terms with, not so much the loss of the material things, but the loss of their son," Ruland said.

Visit Help for the Hulses for more information on how to donate and what the family needs.