NISKAYUNA — A GoFundMe page has been set up to assist the homeowner whose house was the site of a large fire in Niskayuna last week.
The GoFundMe has raised just over $1,100 in the four days since it was started by neighborhood resident Paul Shelmandine.
Shelmandine had been talking to other neighbors about the fire while he walked his dog over the last week, he said.
The funds will assist homeowner Jeffrey Scardino, who along with his dog, was uninjured in the fire.
“You see it in the news, but you never expect it in your neighborhood,” Shelmandine said. “I live two blocks away from where the house burned. Someone said, ‘Well what about a GoFundMe, would that help?’ A light went off in my head, I’ve never done one before, and it was really easy to get set up.”
The GoFundMe has raised $1,015 of the fundraiser’s $3,000 goal as of Tuesday afternoon. The majority of donors so far have been other neighbors, Shelmandine said
“I know a lot of times with disasters, people are donating furniture, and clothing and stuff, but what they say is in the beginning, what people need is money. So, I set it up and people have been pretty generous.”
Shelmandine said he has lived in the neighborhood for 20 years and has never seen a fire as devastating in the neighborhood as the one last week.
“The lesson here is that, as neighbors, we need to look out for each other I think in certain ways,” Shelmandine said. “In this day in age, we forget about our neighbors sometimes, because everybody has separate lives. We retreat to our houses. One of the reasons my wife and I stay in this neighborhood is because of our neighbors and how great they are.”
The exact cause of the fire last week could not be determined, said Niskayuna Fire District 1 Chief Dale Lingenfelter.
“It was considered accidental in nature, we didn’t have anything to lead us in any other direction,” Lingenfelter said. “It appeared to involve electrical components, but we really couldn’t pin it down to one particular component or another.”
The day of the fire heavy, wet snow had fallen in much of the area. It made footing around the residence difficult, Lingenfelter said. Around 40 firefighters were at the scene that night, he said.
Link: Fire GoFundme
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