Special Report: Path to recovery for local house fire victims

02/19/2015 8:00 AM |
Investigators leave the home of Karen Pollack March 5 — the night her husband, Jack, was killed in a house fire. Nearly a year later, she's still working to get back into the house. (Credit: Paul Squire, file)

Investigators leave the home of Karen Pollack March 5 — the night her husband, Jack, was killed in a house fire. Nearly a year later, she’s still working to get back into the house. (Credit: Paul Squire, file)

From a dining room table in her mother’s Southold house, Karen Pollack is trying to plan out her future. Spread across the tabletop are stacks of papers. In the stacks are window designs, floor plans and other details for her soon-to-be renovated home.

Ms. Pollack has been staying with her mother since a fire swept through her Greenport Village home last March. It’s a warm bed and a roof over her head, Ms. Pollack said, but it’s not the same.

“It’s not your home,” she said.

She’s also trying to pick up the pieces of her life short-handed.

Ms. Pollack not only lost her First Street house in the fire, but also her husband, Jack, and the couple’s dog.

She said the pain is immeasurable, though she tries her best to be strong and stay positive.

“I’m struggling with profound grief,” she admitted. “Imagine the worst day of your life. Multiply it by a thousand and that’s what I went through that night.”

In many ways, Ms. Pollack’s story mirrors the lives of other residents in the North Fork area who have lost their homes and possessions — and more — to fire in the past few years. There’s the initial devastation, the grueling recovery and the importance of support from family and friends.

The Suffolk Times sat down with four area residents who were the victims of house fires in recent years to learn more about that recovery process.

Click on the tabs below to read their stories.

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