November 28, 2010

Cornell Employee Copes With Loss of Home After Pre-Thanksgiving Fire

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After a fire ravaged his Dryden home last Sunday, Joe Jacoby, a building coordinator at the Johnson Graduate School of Management, spent Thanksgiving week in a hotel room.

He discovered the blaze in his home last Sunday night after a smoke detector went off around 10 p.m.

At first, he could not find the fire, but when he opened the door to the garage, flames leaped out into the hallway.

He then quickly grabbed his daughter from her upstairs bedroom and ran outside. No one was injured in the fire, which Jacoby said may have been caused by an electrical outlet in the garage.

“The whole first level of the house is pretty much ruined,” Jacoby said. “It looks like a total loss.”

The Dryden, Etna, Freeville and Varna fire companies responded to the fire, which was extinguished by 10:45 p.m., The Ithaca Journal reported.

Jacoby said he will begin looking for an apartment Monday, where he will spend the next few months before his house is repaired or rebuilt. He said that though he had a bad weekend, he tried to make the best of the holiday, which he spent nearby at his parents’ house.

“You’re trying to stay upbeat because all the family is around, but you just keep thinking about it,” he said.  “I was sitting in a hotel room with my daughter, and realized that this is everything we own.”

Jacoby said he had returned to his home since the fire, but was unable to recover anything, due to damage from the smoke and flames.

He said that he had received a lot of support from the Ithaca community, including the Johnson community.

“The people from the Johnson school, they’ve been awesome,” he said. “I can’t even keep up with the emails they’ve been sending.”

Original Author: Juan Forrer