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Cobleskill fire victims left overwhelmed by generosity of community

December 19, 2018 07:41 PM

COBLESKILL -- First, the two military veterans with seven children lost all their belongings in a fire, but it's what happened next that has really left them to overcome. 

Christy Wade, who served in the Navy, visited what's left of her house on Bush Street in Cobleskill the day after the fire.  She says the family dog woke up her husband, Michael, a combat veteran who served in the Marines.  

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The smoke alarms didn't go off until later. Christy says if it hadn't been for their dog, they might not have known about the fire until it was too late. 

"The smoke wasn't coming down from the attic," she said.  "The wind was so bad it was blowing everything to the back of the house and there was no smoke coming down.  The only way I could see that there was a fire was the glow coming from that crack you could see through."

Firefighters say it started as a chimney fire and then spread to the rest of the house. 

The family took their dog and got out safely, in their pajamas. The oldest of the seven children is 15. The youngest -- and the only girl, is 4.
 
Almost immediately came a wave of generosity from people -- including strangers. 

"Oh my gosh, it has been so overwhelmingly amazing!  This community is just.. sorry," said Christy, as she was overcome with emotion.  "They just took us in.  People I don't even know are coming up to me and hugging us and handing us clothes and gift cards and some people have just handed me cash.  They're like, 'Anything I can do to help?' People are opening their homes. It's just amazing. It really is. This community is just showering my family with love."

Now they're staying at the Super 8 Motel in Cobleskill, where Christy says the staff has been amazing. 

NewsChannel 13 was there when the Wade family got a special delivery from the Albany County Sheriff's Department. Staff spent thousands of dollars shopping for the family after hearing about their situation. The department raises money all year for holiday giving. 

"We were able to provide for roughly 300 kids on Sunday. I, literally all week, have been dropping toys and clothes off at houses, beds, you name it. We've had a really good year and it's about the season of giving and this is just our way of showing them we care," said Sheriff Apple. 

The Wade family was able to save Christmas. The presents they bought were still in their van. With seven children in the house, they hadn't figured out where to hide it all yet. 

Donations are accepted at the Emergency Services Building on Route 7 in Cobleskill. There is also a Facebook page.

Credits

Kumi Tucker

Copyright 2018 WNYT-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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