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Community rallies together to support Schuyler Street fire victims
UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - Some knew the four victims. Others never met them. Nevertheless, the community is pulling together to help support the survivors of the family who died in the devastating fire on Schuyler Street in west Utica on Monday.
Leida Santiago and her three children, Sebastian, Matias and Julius Rolon, died in the fire. The children's father and another sibling, a sister, were not home at the time of the fire.
Brenda LoGalbo is the manager at Stash's Hit & Run Redemption Center on Oriskany Boulevard. Her boyfriend is the veteran who saw the fire and tried to save the family. The redemption center is holding a can/bottle drive for the family, and LoGalbo says the community is responding in force.
"Since yesterday, one hour after it broadcast, we had almost $300 and still more to count," LoGalbo said. "All day today, we walked in and there was piles of bags for the victims and we just want to do what we can for them."
The drive to benefit the family will last through May, as management expects a spike in returns after the Memorial Weekend holiday.
Chris Moerler works at Technical Automotive on Court Street in Utica. His children played with the Rolon children. He, too, felt something had to be done to help the family, and the owner of the business agreed. They are holding a car wash to benefit the family from now through Tuesday, May 16.
Fire officials are still working to determine a cause of the fatal fire.