Residents return to what's left of their homes on Lake Road

Posted at: 12/26/2012 5:04 PM
Updated at: 12/26/2012 7:59 PM
By: Berkeley Brean

Seven homes were destroyed in Monday's fire. News10NBC joined some of the owners as they returned to what is left of their homes.
John Kohut walked up the steps that used to lead to his front door.

John Kohut, lost home in fire, said, “I just wanted to see if there was anything left that I could identify and I can't even tell what was what. There's nothing left. It's just ash.”

This is the first time Kohut has been to his home. Kohut wasn't here Monday morning. On Wednesday, he toured his home with his insurance inspector.

Kohut said, “No, it's not easy. You try to put everything together, what happened. You've got two dead firemen, two in the hospital. You just try to make sense of it.”

So are scores of people from around the area. There was an endless parade of cars and trucks driving by the scene. It's as if they have to see it to believe it. Michael Narone lives across the bay and watched the fire spread.

Michael nardone, lives across the bay, said, “Just with everything going on in the last two weeks, to have it happen in our own back yard is just devastating.”

One of the homes he walked by belongs to Nick Marino. He bought it two months ago and was renovating it. He's lucky the fire only melted the side of his house.

Nick Marino said, “As far as my house, it's minor compared to what the families are dealing with and what happened to the left of me.”

Neighbors like John Kohut knew the suspected shooter William Spengler, but didn't talk to him much.
Kohut said, “I never had any problems with him. I said hello to him. He kind of kept to himself. No visitors. No nothing. He kept his house neat. It was a modest home. He never talked about guns or anything. We were friendly.”

Kohut says he knew about Spengler's past including the fact that Spengler killed his grandmother, but Kohut says they never talked about that.

Aerial view of destroyed homes