A devastating house fire ignites a Hingham family’s passion for giving back to their community.
By James Hanley
On July 11, 2022, the Cutter family’s lives were changed in a heartbeat. Hingham firefighters responded to 4 Mann Street after receiving multiple calls of a house fire. Residents Haley Cutter and her husband Patrick had only recently moved into the home with their two young children, Colum and Kingsley.
“When I first received the call about the fire, I was picking my daughter up from sailing in Harwich Port,” says Haley Cutter. “I was over an hour-and-a-half away and was unsure if my son and his babysitter were still in the home. It was terrifying.”
Fortunately, no one was injured in the fire, but the Cutters’ home was a complete loss and the fire caused significant damage to several neighboring homes. More than 125 firefighters from around the region responded to the scene. Inspired by the selfless bravery of the individuals who came to fight the blaze and by the outpouring of support from people in the Hingham community, the family decided to establish The Cut Fire Fund as a way of giving back. The nonprofit organization’s mission is to support first responders and families affected by fires.
On June 23, 2023, The Cut Fire Fund held a charity golf tournament at the South Shore Country Club in Hingham and awarded $5,000 scholarships. The first scholarship, The Cut Fire Fund “Ed Walsh” Scholarship, was awarded to a graduating senior pursuing a career as a first responder. This Scholarship was created in honor of Lt. Ed Walsh, who died in a Boston fire in 2014. The scholarship was awarded to Alana Brewster. Her brother read an essay she wrote at school which resulted in the crowd being brought to tears.
The second scholarship, The Cut Fire Fund First Responder Scholarship, was awarded to a first responder family with a child grade K-College. The scholarship was awarded to Avery Getz and her father Jason Getz, who is a Weymouth firefighter. A third scholarship was presented to Briana Saunders and her father Jeffrey Saunders, a Hingham firefighter, who was there at the Cutter home fire.
Being able to give back to less fortunate families impacted by fire has been particularly meaningful to the Cutter family. “This year it’s been our pleasure to shop for and provide care packages for almost 50 people impacted by fire here in Massachusetts. As word of our charity spreads, we’d love to increase this number and we’d like to continue to support the first responder community with donations and cholarships,” says Cutter.
Moving forward, The Cut Fire Fund aims to raise more awareness of fire prevention tips and preparedness. The charity plans to hold its next golf tournament in October 2024, in honor of Fire Preparedness Month. To learn more about The Cut Fire Fund, visit thecutfirefund.com.