Community Rallies to Support Durkin Family After Fire Destroys Home

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By: Brendan McDonough

Reporter for North Tonawanda

On Saturday, July 28th, people across North Tonawanda came together to help a family affected by tragedy.

On the early morning hours of July 8th, flames ripped through 6730 MacIntosh Lane. Despite the family living there escaping, they lost everything in the fire.

It was at this point the North Tonawanda community came together to help raise money for the family. Residents organized a benefit, called the ‘Durkin’s Benefit,’ to benefit Cindy Durkin and her family.



MacIntosh Lane might have been closed to vehicles, but there was plenty of foot traffic as people came out to support their fellow North Tonawanda neighbors. Dunk tanks, live music, gift baskets and bounce houses lined the street for all to enjoy.

It is a true example of neighbors helping neighbors for a brighter community.

“We all came together to help them,” said Dylan Randall. “It was as simple as that. The loss Cindy and her family suffered was a shock to all of us. I was there that morning. I saw it and how scary it was for everyone. All I wanted to do from that point on was help them get back on their feet as fast as possible.”

Randall organized the event and has been trying to promote it through Facebook and other social media outlets. All items have been donated from local businesses to help the family.



A common theme from the event, and from speaking with Randall, was that when one family in North Tonawanda is in trouble, the community rallies to help them.

“Friends, family, and strangers – it didn’t matter – they all wanted to step up and help,” said Randall. “We even had golf carts to get people in and out of the event. There simply is no better neighborhood than the one we have here.”

The Red Cross did help the family with housing and other necessities after the fire, but the help they need does not end there. Randall says they hope to raise at least $30,000 from the event.



“Within forty-eight hours of attending a Town Hall meeting they approved us to shut down the street for the event,” said Randall. “I thank our community leaders as well for making this possible.”

It was a one day event that organizers hoped would go a long way in helping the family get back on their feet.

For Randall, the event is something that he hopes can be a building block for helping the next person in need in the future.


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