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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Fire destroys Unadilla home


    A fire destroyed a residence in Unadilla and left a family of six homeless Sunday.

    None of the family members were hurt, but an unidentified firefighter was taken to a hospital for a minor injury after a fall, Unadilla Fire Chief Michael French said late Sunday afternoon.

    The residence was a double-wide mobile home, and the blaze started in the garage. The cause has been ruled “”undetermined,”” French said.

    The family, which has no fire insurance, lived at 198 Lockwood Hill in the town of Unadilla for almost 19 years, Jackie Peloso said Sunday night via cellphone as she was shopping for clothes for her children.

    “”This happened so fast,”” she said. “”We lost everything.””

    She said only a few records and clothes for one daughter were salvaged.

    Peloso said a shed attached to the residence had a wood-burning stove and housed about 100 rabbits, which all died.

    “”Every bunny I had — lost,”” she said. “”I was in the driveway screaming; there was nothing I could do.””

    Peloso said she had been breeding them for about a dozen years, and her “”Easter bunnies”” included Lop, Lionhead and Californian varieties.

    Peloso family members said the Red Cross is helping them with money for food and clothes, and they are staying at the Motel 8 in Sidney for three days. After that, the family will split up and stay with neighbors, friends and relatives, they said.

    Peloso said she would call the Department of Social Services today.

    “”This has never happened to us,”” she said. “”I don’t know what to do.””

    Three dogs and about five cats escaped the fire, Amanda Peloso, 17, said. The family was home when the fire started, and her father ran through the house alerting everyone, she said.

    “”We’re all OK,”” Amanda said. “”We’re still pretty much not really believing it.””

    Amanda said she, her sister, Beth, 13, and brother Mark, 15, attend Unatego Central School. Her parents, Jackie and Larry Sr., and brother Larry Jr., 21, also lived at the residence.

    Jackie Peloso said her husband is a self-employed handyman.

    The fire was reported by a family member at 10:17 a.m., French said, and calls were made for mutual aid in the early afternoon.

    About 75 firefighters responded, French said. OtegoWells BridgeSidneyMount UptonGilbertsville and Franklin departments provided mutual aid, French said, and Sidney Center crews were on standby.

    Driveway conditions were poor, he said, and water delivered to the scene by tankers from a nearby pond had to be pumped about 1,500 feet up the driveway to the residence. Crews had to be taken to the house site on all-terrain vehicles.

    Wind fanned the fire, French said. Temperatures were cold, and heavy smoke could be seen from miles away.

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