Family who lost everything notes importance of smoke detectors

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) – An Orchard Park family was lucky to escape their home as it was consumed by a fire last month.

Now, they’re speaking out, telling everyone that they should have working smoke detectors and a fire extinguisher that you can operate because, as they found out, fire spreads fast.

It happened at about 5 in the morning ten days ago on Big Tree Road near the Stadium in Orchard Park.

Randy Lanthier said, “I came out of my bedroom and went to the bathroom, I come back out my bedroom was on fire. I don’t know if the dog knocked the candle over, it was electrical, I’m not sure.”

Randy was rushed to the hospital with burns to his face.

“Then I had a heart problem with all the tense nerves. They kept me in the hospital because my heartbeat was irregular,” he said.

Lori Daugherty recalled, “Trying to get him out, thinking my brother was never going to get out, pounding to get my brother out. I stood in the middle of Big Tree Road screaming, ‘Fire, fire, fire!’ and it seemed like an eternity. And they found our dog, he was actually lying on the property crying to get in the home the next day.”

They all escaped with their own lives, but nothing else.

“We lost completely everything, our car, everything was in the garage, tools, everything was gone,” Randy said. “We didn’t have insurance on the house because it was actually in her mother’s name and she passed away and they couldn’t get it switched over yet.”

The Red Cross helped them buy clothes. Randy is a plumber by trade, and for the past 10 days he and his wife have slept on an air mattress in his sister’s home.

Randy’s sister, Marklyn Vitello, said, “The little bit of work that he did have coming in, you know he had down payments on a job and that got burned up you know.”

His brother, Mark Lanthier, added, “They lost everything they ever owned…everything. So I’m going to try to organize some kind of a benefit for them.”

When the benefit and fund are set up, we will share those details.

Lori said, “My mother always said, ‘God never you gives you more than what you can handle.’”

Vitello added, “Maybe God does have a purpose and a plan but you can’t do it by yourself.”

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