A fundraiser has been set up for the family of shooting victim Wayne L. Best Jr. after their Parkwood Boulevard home was destroyed in a fire on Friday.
A GoFundMe page to raise money for Best’s brother, Jonathan, and stepmother, Karen Kirsch, was created by Best’s friend, Michael Marconi, shortly after the fire at 1052-54 Parkwood Blvd.
In the last three days the fundraiser has brought in a total of about $12,500 as of Monday evening. The goal for donations was set at $10,000.
The GoFundMe page, called the “Karen Johnny & Wayne Fire Fund” can be found at https://www.gofundme.com/bwsvxgus.
The fire, labeled suspicious, broke out around 12:30 a.m. on Friday. The two-family home was occupied at the time with three women on the first floor and Kirsch on the second floor.
The three women on the first floor escaped the blaze safely but Kirsch was rescued by firefighters and sent to Ellis Hospital. She was later transferred to Westchester Medical Center’s burn unit.
Kirsch’s condition is unclear. According to a post on the fundraising website, she is “doing much better” and is “resting her voice now.”
“Karen is doing better and sends her thanks and love,” Marconi wrote. “Karen and Johnny lost everything in the fire.”
Marconi said on Friday that Kirsch lost all of Wayne Best’s belongings in the blaze. Best’s brother, Johnny, was not home at the time of the fire.
The cause and origin of the fire is not yet known. DiTonno & Sons demolished the home Friday evening after firefighters sifted through the wreckage as part of their investigation.
Best, 25, was shot and killed near his Parkwood Boulevard home in December 2014. Christopher Johnson, 25, and Todd Macon, 29, both of Schenectady, were arrested in connection with his homicide last month.
Macon was arraigned in Schenectady County Court on Friday and pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder, robbery and other charges. Johnson is expected to be arraigned this week.
Police said last month that Johnson and Macon fatally shot Best while trying to rob him. Schenectady County District Attorney Robert Carney said more arrests are possible.
Schenectady police are asking the public to call the tips line at 518-788-6566 with any information that may assist in the fire investigation.
Reach Gazette reporter Haley Viccaro at 395-3114, [email protected] or @HRViccaro on Twitter.