Up From Ashes

MAYFIELD – School officials and family friends are working together to raise money for a family who lost their home in a fire.

David Carey and his two sons, Eamon and Declan, lost their Griffis Road mobile home in a fire April 12. Only a few small items survived the fire.

According to David Carey, the fire started early that morning, a Saturday. David was in his room around 6 a.m. while Eamon and Declan were watching television in the living room. David said he heard a large bang, but thought it was just the kids wrestling at first.

Suddenly, one of the boys came in, saying there was a fire, which was in the garage but then spread to the home.

David said he was told by Mayfield Fire Department officials the fire began in the garage, and was caused by an electrical problem.

The family got out safely, but the fire spread from the garage to the home. The fire gutted one wall and caused extensive smoke damage.

“It took about three-quarters of the house down. I mean, one side looked fine, but the other side, you can tell the thing was gutted,” David said.

David said the family has been living with his girlfriend in Fultonville since the fire.

David said the family did not have renter’s insurance for the home, and lost much of their property. Among the things salvaged were some of Declan’s Skylander toys and a few shirts David could get the smoke smell out of.

Neighbors and concerned citizens are helping the family rebuild their lives. Mayfield Elementary School, where Declan and Eamon attend first and fourth grade, respectively, raised money and other donations for the family after the fire.

Nicholas Criscone, principal of Mayfield Elementary, said, “We put on a coin drive for all students willing to participate.”

When the school finished collecting donations Friday, it had raised at least $750 for the family. The school also collected clothes for the family. Criscone said checks are still coming in.

“[The Careys] were overwhelmed,” Criscone said.

Joe and Jennifer LaVada, neighbors of the Careys, also are helping out. The couple will hold a benefit June 7 at 1 p.m. at the Gloversville Moose Lodge, 138 E. State St. Ext., to benefit the family.

Jennifer LaVada spoke highly of the Careys, saying single-parent David is always with his children.

“The boys are sweet as can be,” Jennifer LaVada said.

David said he was shocked so many people were offering their help, donating clothes, care packages, soap and more.

“I’ve never been one to hold my hand out and ask for money,” David said. “A lot of places I lived, people could care less about you. So, the community has been really supportive.”

The benefit will include raffles, an auction, food and music. Tickets will be sold at the door and over the phone. Tickets cost $10 for adults; $5 for children ages 6 to 12; and free for children ages 5 and younger. For more information, call Joe LaVada at 332-5542 or Jennifer LaVada at 661-4656.