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Memorial Day fire destroys local vet’s home

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Updated: 5/29 11:23 pm

MIDDLE GROVE, N.Y. – A local veteran remains optimistic after he lost his home to a fire on Memorial Day.

“I’m a vet for 23 years, and you know, a day like that – Memorial Day – you think good things happening for vets, you know, but I guess we have to take the good with the bad,” homeowner Joseph White said.

White is a retired Air Force radio technician and has been driving buses for the Saratoga Springs School District for 20 years. He lived in his home with his wife Sylvia and three grandchildren.

“Adversity comes and it goes, but you can’t dwell in adversity,” he said.

A bad power surge protector in the master bedroom caused the fire. The home may not be salvageable.

“This is where the bed was laying,” White described the destruction. “This was a wall right here. The bed was laying there, and they say the fire started right there. That’s where that big hole is.”

The family was not home at the time. They were on their way back from a trip to New York City.

“If we would’ve come back Sunday night like I was planning on doing, we would’ve been here sleeping into Monday morning,” he said.

White usually takes his grandchildren out to breakfast and leaves his wife home to rest since she previously suffered a heart attack and stroke

“And Sylvia sleeps, you know, and if that had happened – if she was here Monday morning – there would’ve been no way for her to get out of the house, you know,” White said. “Then it definitely would’ve been a worse tragedy.”

White looks at the fire as a test of human strength that he and his family must overcome.

“You know, God doesn’t put anything on you that you cannot bear,” he said. “Your job is to go forward with your life. Don’t let stuff like this stop you from proceeding on with your life.”

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