Slingerlands fire destroys family’s belongings

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Updated: 3/10 10:59 pm

SLINGERLANDS, N.Y. – A Sunday afternoon house fire destroyed everything inside.

The call for a fire at 78 Maher Rd. came in around 4 p.m. Sunday. At least four people, including two children, were inside at the time.

Aimee Kleinke was away from home when she got a terrifying phone call.

“I get a frantic call from my husband screaming and yelling that the house is on fire,” she said. “Terror, I mean, I don’t know how else to explain it. You don’t know if they are safe, if they are warm, if they are okay.”

Nine-year-old Emma Kleinke was the first to notice any sign of danger. She was playing in her room with her sister at the time.

“We started to smell something weird and through the vents there was smoke” she said.

Emma and her sister went to investigate.

“So we ran into the hall, and we opened the door and there was smoke all in the basement,” she continued.

Their dog was barking and Emma’s dad, TJ, made sure everyone inside left immediately.

“And then my dad screamed, ‘Get out. Get out,’” Emma said. “It was sad and all really that was left was black wood.”

Aimee is nine months pregnant and said the family was planning to move to a new home in the next week to accommodate the baby. She learned over the phone that everyone inside the house made it out safely, but they had lost everything.

“They didn’t have any socks or shoes or coats on,” she said. “They got out of the house so fast, they didn’t have anything on.”

TJ was taken to the hospital for burns.

“The burns were mostly confined to his right hand,” Aimee said.

Aimee said TJ is expected to be released from the hospital in the next few days, and Emma cannot wait to see him.

“Hug him and say ‘I love you,’” Emma said.

The family would like people interested in donating to do so through their church, Saint Matthews Lutheran Church.

The church is located at 75 Whitehall Rd. in Albany or call (518) 436-8672.

They need food, clothes, household items and monetary donations.

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