Cohoes fire victims: Where's the money?

January 11, 2018 11:48 PM

COHOES - Greg Dyer lived at 226 Remsen Street for four years until a fire destroyed everything he owned.

Well, almost everything.

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"The police wouldn't let me in at first but I ignored them so I went in, got my dog out but i'm telling you, ten minutes later I wouldn't have had that opportunity," Dyer explains.

Greg says he stayed in a hotel and his renters insurance helped cover the cost of some items. 

The city even contacted him soon after the devastating event, but since then, it's been radio silence. 

"No communication, where's the sense of urgency?" Dyer asked.

Cohoes Mayor, Shawn Morse explained, "You have to remember the Red Cross- it almost took them ten days to give us anybody's names because they fill out the form and if you don't check the box, "I can release your information," then they wouldn't even tell us who the victims were."

Mayor Morse explained that the long process resulted in 35 homeowner victims. 

In the meantime the Cohoes Strong community would raise more than $100,000 to help those displaced.

Three banks would hold onto the money until the days turned into weeks and no one was being compensated. 

"I got a phone call just the other day from someone looking for money and I said we're not the ones that are involved in the money and they said the bank said they're waiting for you to give them direction and the light bulb went on and I said, oh boy, what do we do here," Morse said.

The mayor says the city will meet with Catholic Charities, Tuesday, hoping they head up the task of distributing the money.

"I think they could have handled this a lot better. I'm not pointing the finger at one another, it's not going to solve the problem, just better communication, especially with people in need."


Karen Tararache

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