New Baltimore family homeless after devastating fire

Above: A video report from WNYT on a fire that destroyed a New Baltimore family home.

A raging fire destroyed a historic 19th-century farmhouse on Cole Lane in New Baltimore late Sunday morning, according to several news accounts.

The Powell family was away from home when the fire began, and no one was injured. But WNYT reports that the house and all of its contents were destroyed:

Firefighters responding from at least five different companies really had little chance to save things, responding at 11:30 A.M., according to New Baltimore's First Assistant Fire Chief Scott Van Wormer.

"We we got here, the house was fully involved," Van Wormer says, "It was a full exterior fight and there was no way anyone was going inside the fire."

The fact that Cole Lane is situated in a rural area, set back from any main road, compounded the challenge for firefighters.

"We have no hydrant system," Van Wormer pointed out. "There's no water close by so we rely mainly on tankers from other fire companies in the area."

Loraine Koster, who lived in the home on Cole Lane as a child and whose twin sister Audrey Powell lived in it until the fire, told Fox 23 that the family does not have insurance:

For the family, now without a home, and the husband out of work, it's uncertain where they'll go from here.

"Unfortunately my sister doesn't have insurance. I don't know what she's going to do. It's just a sad situation," said Koster.

The Times-Union reports that firefighters suspect that an unattended woodstove was the cause of the fire, and that the family's three pets did not survive.

Neighbors Helping Neighbors Greene County, a Facebook page set up to coordinate Irene flood relief in 2011, announced today that Griffin's Market in Coxsackie is collecting donations for the Powell family:

HELP NEEDED - DONATIONS ARE BEING ACCEPTED AT GRIFFIN'S MARKET: The Powell family of New Baltimore is homeless today as a result of a devastating fire that completely destroyed their family home. If you live locally, it's likely that Audrey Powell has greeted you with a smile many mornings from behind the counter at Griffin's Market. The family has no homeowners insurance and Audrey's husband is currently out of work. They have two daughters and sadly lost their three pets in the fire. DONATIONS ARE BEING ACCEPTED AT GRIFFIN'S MARKET. Cash donations and gift cards are needed the most to help them rebuild their lives. PLEASE, PLEASE SHARE!!