Firehouse fun to push back on tornado’s damage

The Enterprise — Marcello Iaia

On May 22, the powerful winds on Bozenkill Road peeled away the standing-seam terne roof on Nicole Burian's farmhouse.

The Enterprise — Marcello Iaia

Lost to Mother Nature, the two-story barn that weathered the high winds for decades rested in pieces on its lot at Nicole Burian's property on May 22. 

KNOX — Debris has been cleaned from the ground, the roof secured, and the windows boarded up. But a group from Duanesburg High School has been planning to help Nicole Burian further, as her Bozenkill Road home is in need of major repairs after a tornado touched down in May.

The strong storm toppled a modest barn on Burian’s property that was used for storage, and a playhouse in the backyard. It tore away her roof and broke several windows. Burian left work as a licensed practical nurse in Albany to assess the damage to her home on May 22 as her daughter took cover with her track team at school.

Burian’s neighbor, Steve Guernsey, had a similar reckoning that day. Their properties used to be part of the same parcel, overseen by farmer Milton Barber, Lynn Herzog’s ancestor. Now, Herzog is helping Burian, working with others to organize a fundraiser for the Burians.

A single mother, Burian told The Enterprise in May that she couldn’t afford a new roof, nor a homeowner’s insurance policy after tropical storms Irene and Lee in 2011 damaged her home.

She has been helped with cleaning by several volunteer organizations and parents and students who know her daughter, but her major repairs are lingering.

“Now that school’s back in session, we see each other and she wasn’t able to come up with any funding or grants over summer,” said Herzog, whose son is a junior with Burian’s daughter.

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A fundraiser to benefit the Burians’ home repair will be held on Sept. 20 from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Duanesburg firehouse on Route 7.

Five-dollar admission provides an all-you-can-eat dinner, with pizza and chili. Baked goods will be available for sale and prizes, including a 32-inch television, will be awarded through drawings and a Chinese auction.

Donations for Nicole Burian may be sent to MBT Bank 4957 Western Turnpike in Duanesburg.

— Marcello Iaia

More Community news

  •  ALBANY COUNTY — Ann Lee Pond in Colonie, and Thompson’s Lake in the Helderbergs are both popular for ice fishing and have public access to fishing. 

  • ALBANY COUNTY — Construction is complete on a new shared-use path for walkers and cyclists connecting the village of Menands to the Mohawk-Hudson Hike-Bike Trail along the Hudson River, which is also part of the newly completed Empire State Trail.

  • A series of free programs on brain health will be available to the public this month.

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