MOHEGAN LAKE, N.Y. -- When Ellen Dolan heard about a fire in Mohegan Lake that left two of her neighbors homeless, her first instinct was to reach out and help.
"I just felt so bad. This is someone in our community," Dolan said of John and Diane Caro, whose home at 1646 Wenonah Trail was devastated by an accidental fire Tuesday afternoon that was triggered by faulty wiring.
"They're just in a bad situation there and they're in a state of shock," Dolan said. "I just felt I needed to get the community involved."
Dolan, who lives about five blocks away on Shelley Street, said she made a donation of $200 and another neighbor gave $50. John, an architect, and Diane, an artist who worked from home, are currently staying with their daughter right next to their charred home.
Dolan has reached out to several churches in the area and to town officials for assistance for the Caros but so far has been unsuccessful.
"If anybody can just give $20 to encourage them it would mean a lot," Dolan said.
Linda Sugrue, a close cousin of the Caros, said her relatives lived in the home for years. She said the small, two-story home not only was ravaged by fire, but it suffered heavy smoke and water damage as well.
"There's no way they could live in it at all," Sugrue said. "We're just trying to rally some support in the community at a time of crisis."
Monetary donations are requested. Anyone interested in lending a hand can contact Sugrue at firstname.lastname@example.org or send a check to John and Diane Caro, 1646 Wenonah Trail, Mohegan Lake, N.Y. 10547.