Relief efforts underway for Cohoes fire victims

December 02, 2017 12:11 AM

COHOES -- 21-year-old Michael Ferris painfully watched as crews demolished what was left of his Cohoes home at 226 Remsen Street Friday night. 

“Everything our…all our furniture, all her sons toys, clothes, all our clothes,” Ferris said. 

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All of his belongings were destroyed by a fire Thursday that leveled three buildings, including the building where Ferris lived, and damaged 28 others.  

“I seen the smoke out of my window, turned to my girlfriend, said we got to leave,” Ferris said. “Grabbed her and the dogs.”

Ferris' girlfriend and two dogs made it out of the home safely. 

Luckily, his girlfriend's son was in school at the time. 

Their cat unfortunately perished in the fire.

The family had only lived in their apartment for just under two weeks and finished unpacking their belongings just minutes before the fire. 

“Our power got turned yesterday and I put everything away yesterday,” Ferris said. 

Ferris' mother, who also lived in the apartment building, was able to get out of the building safely as well. 

The Red Cross has been helping Ferris and more than two dozen others displaced by the fire. 

Several community banks including, Pioneer bank, Capital Communications Federal Credit Union and Key Bank, are collecting and donating money for the victims. 

Ferris’ high school friend, Mike Ryan, who is a local radio show host for Fly 92.3 WFLY-FM, once lost his home to a fire in Cohoes.

“It's heartbreaking,” Ryan said. “It’s so close to the holidays. You just feel horrible for them and that's why I'm trying to give back any way I can.”

That’s why Ryan is helping to organize a fundraiser for Ferris and other victims on December 10th at the Black Cat Ale House around the corner. 

“Everything they lost so we're accepting anything and everything,” Ryan said. 

Gomes faces criminal charges for the fire.

However, Ferris isn’t holding a grudge against him. 

“I Feel bad for him. I really do. I have 100 percent belief in my heart he did not mean for any of this to happen,” Ferris said. 

Anyone interested in helping is encouraged to donate to one of those banks or stop by the fundraiser next week.


Nia Hamm

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