Community rallies to rebuild after massive Cohoes fire

COHOES, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The Capital Region is coming together for the victims of a massive fire in Cohoes.

It has been one week since the massive fire on Remsen Street. People in the community quickly pulled together to help those impacted.

“Mother Nature was not on our side that day,” Don Russell said.

Russell, a Cohoes council member and the owner of Spindles Wine Bar, was out on Remsen Street that day watching flames burn buildings to the ground and jump feet away.

“I’ve seen a lot of big fires here in Cohoes in the past several years, but nothing to this magnitude,” he said.

A week later, dozens remain displaced, and businesses are still picking up the pieces. But the fourth annual Winterfest will go on.

“After something like this, people need something to brighten their day, and that’s exactly what this will do for them,” Russell said.

All day Saturday on Remsen Street, you will be able to hear live music, shop and enjoy some warm food and drinks. Most vendors will donate a percentage of their sales to the fire victims. A 50/50 raffle was also added to help.

Then, on December 16 and December 17, you can head to the Cohoes Bowling Arena. Donate $20 to get a “Cohoes Strong” t-shirt and play some games. All proceeds will go toward the victims. There will also be an auction and raffles.

Dan Walsh, of Cohoes Bowling Arena, and Steve Pesta, of Awards by Walsh’s, paired up for the fundraiser.

“We always try to help out where we can,” Walsh said.

Currently, more than 120 businesses have pledged their support and raised $10,000.

“It really is like they say: Cohoes pride. Cohoes strong,” he said. “Here you can really feel it now.”

Standing together, the community will pull through. It just may take a little time.

“Cohoes is strong; Cohoes is proud, and we will lift out of this,” Russell said.

A fundraiser is also being held at the Black Cat Ale House from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday, December 10.

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