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Family recovering from fire, benefit planned this Sunday

PLATTSBURGH - One week after fire consumed their Couch Street apartment, Shawn and Mandy Treadwell are still in a state of disbelief.

"We lost everything," said Mandy. "The stuff we tried to take out we couldn't save. It was ruined by all the water and the smoke ... My wedding stuff, things we've had since the kids were babies, stuff from Christmas. We lost it all."

The couple had been living in the two-story, six-bedroom apartment with their three kids and eight other family members, and pets since August. When the fire erupted last Friday, it took their entire family by surprise, said Shawn.

"My first impression was to throw what was on fire out the door, and try to work on the wall that was on fire," he said, noting his brother-in-law, Josh LaBombard, who lives at the residence, alerted him to the fire . "But, it was too hot to even get near and that's when I realized I needed to call 9-1-1 and get everybody out."

"We all just grabbed kids and took off out the door," he added.

Firefighters faced flames shooting from the front door of the apartment when they arrived, though crews were able to get the family's pets out safely once everyone was accounted for, Mandy said.

"It went up pretty quick after we all got out," she said.

The home suffered extensive damage, with the Treadwells believing a heater was the cause of the fire. However, the cause is still under investigation.

The North Country Chapter of the American Red Cross was able to assist the family with temporary shelter at a local motel, but as of Monday, they relocated to the home of a family friend. The Treadwells and their other family members who were left homeless after the fire are in the process of securing another apartment.

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