Pet Pitbull stands in way of fire victim finding new home

December 08, 2017 07:21 PM

People who were displaced by last week's massive fire in Cohoes are just now starting to find new homes.

At least one of them has struggled to find a place to go, because of the one thing he was able to save from the inferno.

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More than week after fire destroyed much of a city block in Cohoes, the smell of smoke still lingers. White tarps now cover what's left of the buildings that were consumed by flames. No lives were lost, but dozens of lives were changed forever.

"'I made it. I got my dog out, I'm happy.' Then, it just moves forward to, 'Okay, now I'm angry,' and then, 'Now I'm depressed and now I'm sad,"' noted Greg Dyer.

Dyer, 44, lived at 226 Remsen Street.  Every day, he realizes something else the fire took from him -- including keepsakes from his parents, who are both deceased. Things like an old porcelain Christmas tree.

My mother, she held that very close to her. It's something that she enjoyed putting it together for Christmastime, the nativity scene that she has," he recalled. "All inside, all gone."

The fire forced Dyer and other residents into motels, or the homes of family or friends. He was denied the chance to rent a few apartments, because of his pet -- a Pitbull named "Tat," that he managed to rescue from last week's fire.

"I called several places for apartments and because of my Pitbull, unfortunately they're not comfortable with the idea of that, so I was turned down quite a bit," he explained.

Dyer has a good lead on a place now and hopes to start moving in this weekend. He says some others are still looking. The man accused of starting the fire is John Gomes, after a reckless, absurd attempt to emulate the TV show, "Forged in Fire," on The History Channel.

"I can forgive them in time. I've just got to keep wrestling with these emotions," assured Dyer.

He does not want to see Gomes serve prison time, but thinks public service and sharing his story about how destructive one careless act can be would be more appropriate.

"Maybe that would resonate and something like this could be avoided," pointed out Dyer.

Pioneer Bank, CapCom and Key Bank have all been accepting donations to assist those displaced by the fire.

Dyer is a former NewsChannel 13 employee.


WNYT Staff

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