Wildfire leaves former Capital Region family homeless

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Helpless, that’s how Averill Park native Kerrie Martin felt after she found out her sister Sandra Comenole, her brother-in-law Mike, and their four children had lost their home during the Marshall fire in Boulder County, Colorado.

"My heart just broke," Martin said.

The Comenole family had moved to Superior, Colorado from the Capital Region back in 2019 after Sandra finished her master’s degree at RPI. They were just finally starting to feel at home in their community, and on December 30, 2021, their lives changed forever when they narrowly escaped the fire tearing through their Sagamore neighborhood.

"She didn’t know it was so close to her neighborhood. She had gone over to her window and was looking at the smoke, and she saw flames only two houses away," Martin explained.

Martin said two of the children didn’t even have time to grab shoes.

Sandra and her family have been staying in a hotel since the fire with only the clothes on their back. They haven’t been able to go back to their home, which they had been leasing. They’ve also been trying to find their two cats.

Kerrie is trying desperately to help her sister and her family from hundreds of miles away to help get them housing and the everyday essentials that they lost.

"I think about all the little things you need, towels, sheets, pots, pans, silverware, dishes. Those are the things that when you start to add it all up, the cost accumulates really quickly," she said.

Kerrie has set up a GoFundMe page for her sister’s family, and she’s hoping others will help the family get back on its feet.

"The cost of everything being so much higher now, it’s kind of crazy what they will need," she said.

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