Cohoes comes together after major fire

December 10, 2017 06:29 PM

COHOES -- Mike Ferris had just moved in, trying to make 226 Remsen Street a home with his girlfriend and his two young daughters when tragedy struck.

“Finally making the apartment a home. Then I hear somebody screaming outside, ‘Move out of the way for the fire trucks. That building is on fire,’” he said.

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Within minutes, it was a raging inferno and it looked like half the city block in Cohoes was on fire. In the end, the flames touched more than 30 buildings. Three of them were destroyed. Ferris says he lost everything -- some of it irreplaceable.

“Stuff from my daughters they had made me for Father's Day and birthdays. Stuff I got from my great grandparents and father,” Ferris said.

Ten days later, he's still homeless, crashing with family and friends and working extra shifts to get back on track.

“Just focusing on what I have to do next to rebuild and make sure my family is taken care of. Pretty much all I think about,” Ferris said.

He came to the Black Cat Ale House on White Street supporting a fundraiser for all the victims. The bar took in bags of clothing, winter coats, food and other items. The owner says people support local business. Some of the victims were regulars. He's trying to help them the best way possible.

“I just want to give back and let people know that they can count on me to help them get back on their feet,” said bar owner John Turner.

A disc jockey and two local bands also put their talents towards the cause. Ten percent of the sales will go directly to the victims.

“I feel honored to be able to do it. I feel very sorry for the families that were involved,” Turner said.

For Ferris, the act of kindness, especially around the holidays, is proof that “Cohoes Strong” is not just a slogan -- that people are actually very generous.

“It's honestly the best thing that can happen,” Ferris said.


WNYT Staff

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