Lewis County family seeking support after losing home to ‘devastating’ Harrisville fire

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HARRISVILLE, N.Y. (WWTI) — A family from Lewis County is asking for North Country support.

At the end of August, the family of Bob and Laurie Cowles got a call that many dread: Their parent’s home in Harrisville, New York was on fire. After an investigation, the incident was deemed an electrical fire, with it starting in the walls and allowed it to quickly spread throughout the house.

Because the fire was during the day, both Bob and Laurie were able to escape to safety. However, their home and many of their belongings were destroyed.

As “devastating” as this was, the family then found themselves without insurance. And at the same time, Bob has been battling Stage Four Carcinoid Cancer. However, Bob’s treatment has now been put on hold.

“It’s been tough,” Laurie Cowles said. “I think the stress has had a lot on him. I try to take the impact of a lot of stuff for him. And we’ve been trying to raise money to send him to New York City, to see his carcinoid team down there, Which now was on hold because we are living in a camper in the front yard.”

The Cowles’ son recently set up a GoFundMe with a goal of $10,000. However, as of now, most of this has been used to take down the remaining structure. The family is now seeking community donations, both monetary and including building supplies.

Funds raised will specifically be used to hire a company to sanitize and the family’s clothing, bedding. It will also be used to clear debris and start rebuilding a structure ahead of the winter months.

But Laurie shared that the amount of support neighbors, businesses, friends and the community has given has been overwhelming. She said that it’s been bizarre being on the other side as she and her husband are always trying to support their own neighbors.

“I mean, the people that supported us and stopped by, it’s been great,” Laurie expressed. “It’s really nice to know that. Cause usually we’re the people helping, we’re not the people asking for help. And I don’t like being on the side. But, we’re very appreciative.”

The GoFundMe for the Bob & Laurie Cowles House Fire Recovery Fund remains open and is close to reaching its $10,000 goal. Donations can be made online.

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