Fire Takes Garnett Hill Home During Storm
Go Fund Me Efforts Help Renew Hope For Lanzalaco Family
By Edie Johnson
Susan Lanzalaco stood bravely fighting tears while friends helped her sort through mostly charred rubble that was left after a chimney fire set flames ripping through their home on the border of Chester and Blooming Grove during last week’s snowstorm. Now and then they found a cherished belonging. Very few items were not burned past recognition, but a piece of grandma’s quilt that was untouched could be framed, and a tee shirt with the name “Luke” and a bold cross were held close while she worried over where to hold the family celebration next month when her son will have his First Communion. All of his clothes but the tee had burned during the fire. Susan said that her many years of nursing allows her to show a strong face despite the turmoil going on inside. And, she added, there is a doubly saving grace that they and their children escaped without harm, and that she is nearly overwhelmed by the response they have received from surrounding communities. Friends and community members hearing of the fire pulled in the driveway last Sunday, every half hour or so, one crying as she hugged Susan and said “You don’t know me, but ….My son goes to school with your son. What can I do!”
Meanwhile, Jack Lanzaraco stood at the other end of the country home on a cul-de-sac adjacent to the Heritage Trail, discussing with close friends how to navigate the complex insurance procedures ahead.
Jerry and Linda Gagliardi offered accommodations at their new Sleep Inn in South Blooming Grove for the next 10 days, while one of the firefighters suggested a temporary residence that may be available in Monroe. But the family still does not know whether it is furnished or not, or how long or if the house can be rebuilt or how much and when insurance money will be provided both for a rebuild and/or temporary lodging. They said that at this point they were told it will depend on assuring it can be rebuilt, and if so whether it will take more than 3 months.
Meanwhile, a friend in the Village of South Blooming Grove quickly began a “Go Fund Me Page”. In two days it had already collected over $3,000.
Just 4 days later, after a donation today of $2,000 by an anonymous donor, the current Go Fund Me Total is $10,020 of a $15,000 goal.
TO DONATE PLEASE GO TO: https://www.gofundm
Chimney fires are rampant this time of year, and the colder it gets the more people in this area rely on them. This time there was a mild smell of smoke, prompting the family to check it out and then open a few windows to clear the air. Fires love oxygen, and the next thing they knew their son was yelling that there was a flame by the wall. It soon traveled up through the wall and engulfed the left side of the house as well as both roof sections. It took seconds for Linda and Jack to make the difficult decision to grab children, leave everything, and run to their neighbor’s house while calling 911.
In the months ahead the community support will help them start over as offers continue to come for clothes, furniture, a place to stay, cash, as well as an offer they have already received for a place to celebrate their son’s First Holy Communion in April.