SCHROON LAKE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – On Saturday, Schroon Lake EMS made a post on Facebook calling for support for one of its honorary members, Milt Farbstein, following a fire that destroyed his home. Farbstein’s wife, Suzanne Fremon, died in the fire. Both Schroon Lake residents were longtime members of the community, and this week, their neighbors are working to help Farbstein with whatever comes next.
A fundraiser, over $8,000 strong as of Tuesday, was posted following the fire, created by Pastor Lyle Hartwell of Mountainside Bible Chapel. The GoFundMe page is seeking to raise $20,000 or more, in order to help with permanent housing, as well as the cleanup of Farbstein’s former home.
“Milt asked me to sort of be a throughline for a lot of this – everyone is trying to help, which is amazing about our community,” said Hartwell, of whose congregation Farbstein is a longstanding member. “Everyone wants to find out how to help him.”
In the early hours of Saturday, Jan. 28, Schroon Lake Fire Department responded to a fire at Farbstein and Fremon’s residence. Neither Farbstein nor the emergency squads present were able to get Fremon out in time. She died along with the family’s four dogs. The house has been deemed a complete loss.
After the fire, Farbstein was treated for second- and third-degree burns, and has been staying with a friend in the days since the fire. Schroon Lake FD was accompanied by Ticonderoga, Chilson, Mineville, Moriah, Minersa, Pottersville, Chestertown and Horicon fire departments, as well as Schroon Lake EMS.
Hartwell said that Farbstein and Fremon’s role in the community since moving to Schroon Lake in 2005 was defined largely by music. Both have legacies as accomplished pianists, appearing at area concerts and the Seagal Music Festival. Fremon is remembered as a known substitute pianist, organist and keyboard player at multiple area churches.
The GoFundMe has collected 33 donations as of late Tuesday. Schroon Lake EMS is helping in another way, collecting donations including toiletries and clothes (large shirts, 34×30 pants, size 11 shoes) at 28 Industrial Drive in the town. EMS Chief Tony Ramirez can be reached at (518) 837-1080 with any questions about what to donate.