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An AM Op In Need - House Fire




 
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Author Topic: An AM Op In Need - House Fire  (Read 1847 times)
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N1BCG
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« on: June 01, 2021, 09:57:21 PM »

I was speaking with Mike, W2NDB, earlier this evening who mentioned operating "mobile" and after inquiring  about his setup, I learned that while he was operating from his car (he honked the horn to verify this) he was connected to his inverted V antenna at his home. It wasn't until I asked "Why??" that I heard the deeply upsetting story from this humble operator.

Mike's home was recently ravaged by a fire, and while he and his pets were able to escape, thankfully, they are now living in his garage and faced with an enormous recovery task. Social Security and Disability payments as his sole income left Mike on a tight budget and without homeowner's insurance. The lack of power to his home has left him and his pets without running water except for a local samaritan who brings him a few bottles a day.

I remember, vividly, what it was like to be without power and water for a week after a storm, but I had a home. Mike does not, and this is not a one week inconvenience.

I have set up a GoFundMe page for Mike at https://gofund.me/8159d719

It would mean the world to him to help get the word out, or, if you know anyone in the Acra/Cairo New York area who is in construction who could lend a hand in getting a temporary electrical drop installed at his home.

My immediate goals are to:

1) locate an electrician in his area (Acra, NY) who can assist in getting his well pump connected to a generator

2) reach out to a builder or contractor to have a temporary electrical service set up outside his home so that he is not relying on a generator

3) contact the American Red Cross in Albany (nearest chapter) for them to assist

It's important to point out that Mike did not reach out to me, or anyone else, for help but in hearing of his plight and his very modest account of his very dire situation, I felt it was in his best interest to take action in every way possible. Any additional ideas or suggestions for helping a fellow amateur radio op are always welcome!

Clark n1BCG
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N1BCG
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« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2021, 10:14:21 AM »

Wednesday AM update:  I just spoke to Mike to let him know that the amateur radio community has rallied and that he is getting the critical funding. I'm searching for the words to describe his reaction, but I can assure you that it was a moment of very much needed hope.

THANK YOU to all who have donated and to those who will.

Additionally, Bill KD2NZO, a fellow AMer who lives in the area, is working with Mike to secure an electrician and other professionals for the long road ahead. Having "boots on the ground" locally is invaluable.

Some things crossed my mind while making breakfast this morning. I take for granted that I could open the refrigerator and have access to food and drinks there, that the toaster functions, and that water is immediately available from the faucet. This lesson seems to be re-learned with each power outage, but there was something new this time. I feel I have learned more about amateur radio in less than a day than I have since becoming licensed in 1981.

What an amazing and compassionate group you are.
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KD6VXI
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« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2021, 08:29:10 PM »

John Nistico owns 911 Electric and he is a fellow ham.  From / in New York.


He may have moved, but if you reach out to him maybe he can help guide you to the right people.

electric911inc _at_ hotmail.comNOSPAM

I do know that he worked with the red cross as well as immediate post 9/11.

Ivr only briefly spoken with him on a tower related forum once.

Hope it helps.

--Shane
KD6VXI

Edit: Being an electrician myself, sometimes this can be very task laborious.  Here you can't get a temp power drop from the utility until plans have been approved by the AHJ.  Construction plans.  Not being Debbie Downer here but that is what we deal with.  I tried getting a temp drop for a friend who purchased land with a burned out cabin on it.  Upon submitting the request, SDG&E came out, removed the pole and transformer and removed the feeders back to the nearest Junction poles. I couldn't believe it.  This cost him thousands when he did go get construction plans approved since all of it had to be laid from scratch instead of a simple 500 dollar reconnect and triplex.

Be careful here, he may end up getting his house condemned.  I hope not.
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N1BCG
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« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2021, 10:59:07 AM »

I just visited Mike's Facebook page where he has posted pictures of the aftermath https://www.facebook.com/mike.lynch.75457

Losing so much is hard to imagine yet the pictures tell the story quite bluntly. I know the expression "things can be replaced", but cherished photographs and items with deep sentimental value, those that bring joy each day, cannot. For many ops, amateur radio connects them to friends so it's not just a hobby. I'm sure this topic has been debated often.

Mike texted me this morning with an update. I'm sorry to report that he lost two of his cats. One escaped the blaze but hasn't been seen since and the other tried to hide from the flames in a bedroom and perished.

Mike's ability to take this tragedy as well as he has is remarkable although he is extraordinarily grateful to those who are helping him both locally and with the crucially needed funds. He's going to try to get on the air from his car tonight and I'm sure there are a lot of folks who would like to hear from him directly.
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N1BCG
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« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2021, 08:50:18 AM »

Saturday Morning, June 5

I received an email from Ellie AA2EC that tells a more complete story. Mike would never have mentioned all of this given his humble demeanor but I felt it was important to know more about the man, and family, that you are helping with donations.

Mike Lynch, a fellow amateur radio operator W2NDB has been a victim of a disastrous home fire. Mike is well educated in Amateur Radio, he loves the hobby and will go out of his way to help others get their equipment working properly, he is a real asset in this hobby! Mike is also a fun-loving man; he is an all-around wonderful person.

Mike has been disabled for many years. He is also the caretaker of his brother who lives with him and has a traumatic brain injury. Due to the heavy burdens of supporting both of them, Mikeís income is insufficient for him to maintain homeowner's insurance, along with other daily expenses that go by without payment. At the time of the fire Mike had 4 cats, three of which escaped, one was found hiding under a blanket, unfortunately deceased. Mike, his brother, and 3 cats are now living out of their garage with no running water, or electricity. At this time, they donít have anywhere else to go.

Your contributions will go towards rebuilding his home, and helping them maintain a shelter throughout the summer for his brother and himself. We hope to have Mike & his brother back in their home by the end of 2021.

Mike & his brother are in need of many items. Mike can be contacted through the link below.

Thank you all for taking time to help a great family & fellow Ham!

73
Ellen
AA2EC/VEC


Mike's GoFundMe page: https://www.gofundme.com/f/mike-lynch-w2ndb-home-rebuild
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steve_qix
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« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2021, 10:15:54 AM »

This is good !!!!

This was announced on the Lonely Guys this morning, and a LOT of people have checked it out.

I took information from this post, and put it on the Lonely Guys web site which is  http://www.lonelyguys.net
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N1BCG
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« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2021, 12:58:40 PM »

Sunday June 13 Update:  Mike is in good spirits, which is remarkable, and has been busy filling a dumpster with smaller items. Fortunately, a pastor/volunteer firefighter in the area learned of Mike's situation and put together a group that will be arriving on Tuesday to clear out the heavier items that he can't lift due to his disability.

Mike is still sourcing water from a nearby stream for bathing and toilets and receiving bottled water from a neighbor. Electricity is still from his generator. I believe this is the case because the closest neighbor (who mostly lives "downstate") has been highly unsympathetic. While I'm a devout Seven Day Avoidist, I believe this person will have a reckoning even if it's karma.  But anyway...

The biggest challenge will be replacing sheetrock and the shattered windows. What do window replacement companies do with the windows they remove? We pondered this for a few minutes.

The GoFundMe drive (https://gofund.me/8159d719) has been going well, and if you donated or are considering it, THANK YOU!!

Mike would normally be thanking you on this forum but I just learned that his phone requires multiple key presses to enter letters (OMG remember those phones?) so I've offered to pass along his info here. Speaking of which, if you feel you can help either directly on-site in Acra, NY or through connections, feel free to reach out to Mike on his (archaic cell) at 561-502-9485.
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« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2021, 10:18:09 PM »

his poor cat too.
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N1BCG
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« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2021, 11:13:04 PM »

Mike is grateful for the many donations that are helping cover his daily costs of living, caring for his brother and pets, as well as the cleanup and eventual rebuild. Some folks are even sending checks directly. One particularly generous donation, accompanied by a heartfelt note, will help significantly. The donor wrote "Money in the bank isn't doing anyone any good, so it's better to use it to help a ham in need".

And yet, no donation is too small. Ever been in a situation where you were just a dollar short? It's always that one missing dollar that's the most important, and for Mike, every dollar counts. It's much more than an expression.
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