Grieving Schoharie fire survivor dealing with mountain of rubble
SCHOHARIE – Wednesday marks six weeks since a devastating fire in Schoharie killed a woman.
Her son was home at the time, he tried to save her, but the fire was too intense.
In addition to coping and grieving with his loss, Trent Oliver is also dealing with a paperwork nightmare, trying to find a company to remove the pieces of his family’s home. The pile is still there.
The raging fire broke out around 4 a.m. on September 29 at 385 Main Street in Schoharie.
"Something woke me up from the first floor, it was something exploding," recalled Oliver. "Opened the hallway door to where my mom was, and the fire knocked me back into the hallway. I couldn’t even get into the room, and it took all I had to get out of the house."
Oliver escaped with just the clothes he was wearing. His mom Nancy did not survive. She was 74 years old.
The home was demolished the same day the fire broke out.
Six weeks later, the pile of rubble is still there. Oliver says the main reason is concerns of asbestos.
"That’s when I joke around saying it’s paperwork logistics. It’s having to find companies willing to do the work," said Oliver.
The cost is between $40,000 and $60,000. Thankfully, that’s covered by his parents’ insurance policy.
Oliver and his brother are now caring for their father. He was in the hospital recovering from an infection when the fire broke out.
They’re all so thankful for the support they’re received from the Schoharie community – donations of clothing, food and money.
He also continues to learn more about the impact his mom had on this area.
"I guess she ultimately did a whole lot more than I ever really thought about," he said.
The Schoharie fire chief tells NewsChannel 13 he’s still waiting for the official fire report to come back to determine what caused the fire.
Oliver says he has a company lined up to remove the rubble. He’s waiting for an official date.