PLATTSBURGH — Megan Cook and her family were coming home from a day at the beach when they turned the corner and saw smoke rising from their property on Ore Bed Road in Black Brook.
Their home had burned to the ground, said her son, Ty Cook, 14.
And for some terrifying moments that day, July 2, Megan didn’t know if her husband, Tim Parsons, or their pets had been injured in the blaze. To her profound relief, she found Tim safe and sound, and the pets, too, at a neighbor’s home further down Ore Bed Road in Black Brook.
Tim had been in the pool in the backyard when he heard the smoke-detector alarm a few minutes before 4:30 p.m.
He got the family’s rabbit, three cats and two dogs out of the house and called 911 as the home filled with smoke.
Luckily, the cattle barn and chicken coop remained untouched by the fire, and none of the animals were injured, Megan said.
It’s likely that an overheated dryer was the cause of the fire, she said. Tim had been doing a load of laundry when it started.
HELP FROM FRIENDS
Since the fire, Ty, Megan and the couple’s daughter, Hannah Parsons, 10, have been dividing their time among Megan’s mother’s house and the homes of two of Megan’s friends.
Megan is overwhelmed with gratitude for all the kindness and help her friends have given her family, she said.
But not having a place to call their own has placed a strain on her and her family.
“Sometimes, at night, you just want to go home,” she said.
Tim has been staying at a neighbor’s near their house to keep an eye on the cows and chickens and start cleaning up.
“Not staying together as a family is tough,” Megan said.
LOST MOST EVERYTHING
The family had a small insurance policy on their house, but it won’t be enough to cover everything they’ve lost.
Megan was able to recover two boxes of photos from a compartment under the coffee table, but almost nothing else was in usable condition, including furniture and clothing.
But family friends posted Megan, Tim, Ty and Hannah’s clothing sizes on Facebook, and within a day, they had enough clothes.
And the Prescott family in Peru had a yard sale to benefit the family.
“We’re so grateful to everyone that has helped us through this,” said Megan, a teacher’s aide at Peru Central School. “It’s amazing, the support that we’ve gotten.”
DRY DOCK EVENT
To help the family recover from the fire, Megan’s mother, Susan Stefanick, is holding a fundraiser at the Dry Dock Restaurant and Lounge, which she has owned since Megan was 10 years old.
“It’s as much like a family as it is a bar,” Megan said.
Stefanick is donating the food for the steak dinner and drinks for the open bar, and two food suppliers she works with gave kegs of beer for the occasion, which takes place from 2 to 8 p.m. Sunday at the bar, located at 5143 U.S. Ave., Plattsburgh. The cost is $40 for both the steak dinner and open bar; $25 just for the open bar. Free hot dogs and hamburgers will be provided for children 12 and younger.
For tickets and further information, call 561-9993.