Schenectady family works to rebuild after house fire

Family works to rebuild after house fire

A Schenectady family had their lives change in a night after fire swept through their Ardsley Road home last week.

Windows are boarded up at a house on Ardsley Road in Schenectady.

The fire last week also left its mark on Javon Aponte’s face, where you can see the red of the burns.

He was staying with his parents at the family home when he smelled something burning early Thursday morning.

“I ran downstairs,” said Aponte. “Usually there’s a light on downstairs. But I didn’t see a light when I went downstairs, and I ran in the kitchen and the fire was the only light I see coming from the oven vent.”

He tried to put it out, but it kept spreading. He ran upstairs and got his parents.

“I told my mom: wake up, wake up, there’s a fire! She came downstairs and tried to put it out with me.”

He showed us blisters from burns on his hands.

Parents Robin and Will Griffin were able to get out safely.

“But the kitchen,” said Javon. “They say every 30 seconds a fire doubles in size and so it showed that night. It was in hood of the vent, then it went to the cabinet and then went to the ceiling, then to the ceiling fan and it was like the whole kitchen just got covered in flames.”

The family bought the house in 2002.

“Our kids, their grandchildren, grew up there. Toys got ruined, so it’s all sentimental value that they lost, so they’re just trying to recuperate still and move ahead, try to move past things. Don’t think about the past, I guess, but it’s still devastating at the same time.”

They are grateful for all the community support, as many people have reached out with help or donations.

They are planning to rebuild the house here and make new family memories.

“Restart, refresh, and just move forward,” said Aponte. “That’s all we can do.”

A GoFundMe set up for the family raised $6,000 in just one day.