Emotions run high as Cohoes looks to rebuild after fires

COHOES, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Continuing to follow that massive fire out of Cohoes, in which over 20 buildings were affected by the blaze that engulfed three city blocks.

An eerily quiet day on Remsen Street in Cohoes just two days after a devastating fire tore through town leaving longtime residents near speechless.

“Look at all these buildings around us. That one is all melted, this is gone. It’s just, incomprehensible,” said resident, Jason Toomey.

In an incredible display of resilience, Remsen Street businesses like Rizzo’s Flowers are pushing to stay open during the busy holiday season. Capital Restoration has been working day and night to rebuild so these businesses can keep their doors open

“The process right now is keeping the building secure for the tenants so they can go back in, get their belongings, work on their next process with their insurance companies to start rebuilding,” said Lou Perry, Capital Restoration.

Assemblyman John McDonald is another one of the local business owners affected by the disaster.

“Because I own a pharmacy and because I had medical records in there I have to document that they no longer exist,” McDonald said.

Elected officials say the cost of cleanup will be high.

“The cost is probably still being calculated but it’s probably in the millions,” said Cohoes Mayor, Shawn Morse.

“The taxpayers, city and county will end up shoulder the burden of the demolition costs which are going to be dramatic. Our hope is to help find resources at the state level to help the city offset some of these costs,” McDonald said.

The mayor says this is among worst disasters in the city’s history, but he expects this resilient community will turn lemons into lemonade.

“We believe Cohoes has so much potential, more potential than anywhere else and next year I hope you’re standing here with me talking about all this great new development and how Cohoes has risen from the ashes and became the greatest city in the country,” Morse said.

Banks and community centers in the area are now stepping up to help those affected by the fire. Among them is Cap Com; they say anyone can now walk in and make a monetary donation at various branches around the city.

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