Ilion fire: Families describe dealing with loss and community support

Eleven people in Ilion are homeless after a massive fire ripped through a multi-family home on the corner of East Main and McCann streets.

Posted: Aug 6, 2018 8:30 PM
Updated: Aug 7, 2018 9:28 AM

ILION, NY – Eleven people in Ilion are homeless after a massive fire ripped through a multi-family home on the corner of East Main and McCann streets.

"My apartment is completely wiped out, a total loss. There's nothing left," said Amy Crandall, who lived in the apartment building with her three sons.

Crandall was working in Clinton when the fire broke out just before 7 a.m. Monday. The fire started in her apartment unit. She and her three sons are now living with relatives in separate homes, while she tries to find a more permanent home. Despite her own loss, she's more concerned about the other families who lived in the building.

"The young lady and her boyfriend and her daughter that lives in the front don't have renters insurance," she said. "They lost all their clothes, all of their – everything and anything you can imagine, the basic necessities is gone. There was three old gentleman upstairs, they're all displaced."

Crandall was referring to Julie Hilley, who lived at the apartment building with her boyfriend and her five-year-old daughter.

Hilley said the family lost almost everything, but they were able to salvage some clothing. She said the support from the community is helping her cope with the loss.

"When Cody and my daughter were rushed out of the house, she was in our pajamas and no shoes, no coat, she didn't have breakfast," she said. "We had a wonderful lady with us, which unfortunately I cannot remember her name, she bought her shoes, she brought her Pop-Tarts for breakfast, a coat. We even had a neighbor let her use the restroom."

Thompson mentioned that the fire departments and other emergency responders were supportive as well.

"The firefighters and emergency personnel, just everybody, the neighbors, everybody who came out and helped in someway shape or form, words can't describe how much it means to us," he said.

Hilley offered a similar sentiment.

"It could've been so much worse without them."

The local American Red Cross said they provided immediate emergency to all of the families including seven adults and four children, ages two to 14.


One of the families who lived in the home is accepting the following clothing donations:

- Men's XXL shirts and size 40-42 pants

- Women's large shirts and size 12-13 pants

- Men's XL shirts and size 32 pants

- Boy's large shirts and size 18 pants

- Baby boy's 2T clothes

- Men's size 12-13 shoes

- Men's size 11 shoes

- Men's size 6 shoes

- Women's size 9 shoes

- Baby boy's size 7 shoes

Donations can be sent to 1165 McQuade Avenue, Utica, NY 13501

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