First home goes up in flames for young couple
By Jon Dinan
NARROWSBURG January 29 Dan and Shelby Weyandt bought their first house as a couple on High St. in Monticello three years ago.
That house, destined to be called home by the couple and their 3-year-old daughter Sophia, was just a few short projects away from being certified for occupancy when disaster struck, coming in the form of a destructive and deadly fire.
It was assumed by the owners that the blaze resulted from a wood stove that was left burning and unattended, but an official cause has not yet been determined.
Because the house was not insulated at the time, it was costing the Weyandts a lot of money to heat the building, so they installed a cost-efficient wood stove.
“I was spackling after work one night and, before I took a break, I checked the stove. It was burnt down to ashes, so I closed the vent and left,” said Dan, 27, who works at Catskill Harvest in Liberty.
“When I came back later, shortly after 9 p.m., I couldn’t get anywhere near the place because emergency professionals had the area blocked off,” he added.
All that remained after 11 p.m., when the fire departments finally left, was the empty shell of the young couple’s starter house.
According to Monticello FD Chief Marc Friedland, 26 firefighters from Monticello responded as well as mutual aid firefighters from Rock Hill and Mobilemedic EMS.
The Smallwood Fire Dept was assigned to relocate to Monticello Firehouse for stand by duty.
Sullivan County Bureau of Fire Investigators assisted at the scene, along with the Monticello Police Department.
The expenditures they made to renovate the building, which included additions of new plumbing, electric wiring, dry wall, and much more were all consumed by flames.
The roof was burned off and the floors collapsed in on one another, destroying their future home, and all their worldly possessions stored inside.
The house was fully furnished, washer/dryers had already been installed, and the building was storing most all of the couple’s clothes and personal belongings.
During the renovation process the family of three was staying with Dan’s parents, Darlene and Kenny Weyandt in Narrowsburg. This tragedy forced them to prolong their stay while the insurance companies handle their business.
“I would like to thank the community for their ongoing support, and everyone who has offered a donation for our cause,” Dan remarked.
Instructions for how to make a donation can be found on Facebook under the page entitled, “Donations for Shelby and Dan.”
Donations may also be sent to the Sullivan County Deputy Sheriffs Association, 4 Bushnell Ave., Monticello, NY 12701.