Donations requested for families displaced by Watervliet fire

WATERVLIET, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Families displaced after a fire tore through a Watervliet apartment building are trying to figure out what’s next.

Just after 6 p.m. Monday, a large fire destroyed most of a building in Van Rensselaer Village Complex. Now, three families, including seven children, are without a home.

Tommy Marable and his family just moved in on May 1.

“It’s crazy; it’s very crazy,” he said. “I haven’t even been here 60 days.”

Monday night, he and his wife, Charlene, were getting their three kids ready for school.

“All of a sudden, I just heard a bang at the door, ‘Fire! Fire!’” Tommy recalled.

“We don’t know, so we go to the door, and we find out the whole entire building is in flames,” Charlene said.

The couple quickly brought the kids outside to safety.

“I tried to run back inside and save some things, but it was already too late, and it was way too hot to go back in so we had to leave and just watch our house burn,” Charlene said.

A day later and the family is trying to pick up the pieces. Most of their belongings were destroyed. They hope to salvage whatever they can.

“Everything is ruined: our beds, our blankets, our clothes, our food,” Charlene said.

“I’m trying my best to hold it together for the sake of my wife and kids,” Tommy said.

The community is rallying around Tommy and Charlene along with two other families. Donations are being accepted at the Watervliet Housing Authority.

No one was injured during the fire, which Tommy and Charlene said is all that matters.

“I’m happy my kids are still alive, and I still have my beautiful wife,” Tommy said.

“We’re kind of just trying to hang in there,” Charlene said. “We have each other, the clothes on our back, and we are all safe.”

For now, the families displaced are being assisted by the Red Cross and staying in a hotel. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.


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