Family of slain Troy woman loses everything in Cohoes fire

COHOES, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A father who has endured the loss of his daughter has now also lost his home to a fire.

Vanessa Milligan was killed by her ex-boyfriend, Gabriel Vega, who then set her apartment on fire. She was also pregnant.

Her father, Nate Milligan, said he was just beginning to heal, but on Thursday, a fire destroyed his home, which is making it hard to move on.

“Makes me think about my daughter,” he said. “Just that smell. When I seen the black smoke, the cloud that, you know, it crossed my mind: ‘Man, this is what she went through.’”

What appeared from the outset like a typical electrical fire held a much greater meaning for Milligan.

“It’s tough,” he said. “When I’m by myself, I cry. When I’m around people, I cry. It’s not easy. It’s not easy.”

Making it even harder was losing the place he, his girlfriend, and children called home. But he is holding on to one thing.

“What makes it easier is that when my daughter got justice, it made it a lot easier to sleep at night,” he said.

Vega was sentenced to 50 years in prison in August.

“You know, it doesn’t bring her back, doesn’t change anything, but I just felt like she got hers,” he said.

That’s what’s helping Milligan move forward – now that he’s left without a home and missing his daughter more than ever.

“I miss her laugh; I miss her embarrassing me and her singing on car rides,” he said. “I think that’s pretty much what it was.”

People in the area said the fire was caused by a dryer, but the investigation is ongoing.

The Red Cross is helping Milligan and the others who were displaced.

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