COLONIE —A volunteer firefighter suffered second and third degree burns while trying to save his dog from a fire that did heavy damage to his 4 Elmwood St. home.
According to a GoFundMe page established by Kristen Delamater to assist Mark Nichols, a single father of two children, everything was lost in the Saturday evening blaze.
The 27-year volunteer at the Stanford Heights Fire Department, and EMT at Mohawk Ambulance for six years, went back into his burning home to save his dog, Nikki, but was unsuccessful, according to the GoFundMe page.
“My brother was brought to Albany Medical Center and transferred to Westchester Medical Center Burn Unit,” according to the GoFundMe page. “Mark suffered third degree burns on his head, second degree burns on his neck, he burnt his esophagus and he inhaled quite a bit of smoke and isn’t out of the woods with that yet.”
He will need surgery to repair his esophagus and skin graphs for his head and neck, according to the page.
She said Nichols has been struggling financially to support his two children while working as a driver and also suffered from rheumatoid arthritis for the last decade. For the last two, he was undergoing chemotherapy to treat the arthritis.
His only vehicle was damaged in the fire too and it may be totaled.
“He will most likely be in the hospital for several weeks and as of right now we are also working on where he will be residing after he is discharged,” she wrote. “There is most likely nothing salvageable in his home and he will need to start completely over.”
Elmwood Street is located off Central Avenue.
The GoFundMe page raised $5,110 in nine hours. It can be accessed by clicking here or by going to the GoFundMe website and looking for “rally-for-mark-nichols.”
Stanford Heights Fire Department, which is located near Elmwood Street, was assisted by the Midway, Village of Colonie, Niskayuna District 2, Carman Road, West Albany, Shaker Road-Loudonville Fire Departments.