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Smiths express gratitude for help after fire; death of 3 pets weighs on them

By David Cederstrom, Chronicle Staff Writer

No people were injured when Kent and Cheryl Smith’s home at 25 Orchard Drive in Queensbury was destroyed by fire last Friday, Oct. 6, but they’re hurting from the deaths of three of their pets — two dogs, Kobi and Willie, and their cat Jazmyn, Mr. Smith’s sister Kristin Howarth tells The Chronicle.

The Smiths and their children escaped the fire, along with one dog, three cats and four ferrets.

The Smiths own 21 Midas auto shops in the Northeast, including the one on Quaker Road in Queensbury.

Chronicle 2011 photo — Cheryl and Kent Smith operate 21 Midas auto shops in the Northeast, including the one on Quaker Road in Queensbury, where they’ve lived since 1994. Chronicle photo/David Cederstrom

Ms. Howarth said the family is doing okay, but “having a hard time just getting everything back together. The loss of their pets is really the challenging thing.”

“They’ve been very overwhelmed with the outpouring of kind acts and generosity from the community,” Ms. Howarth said, from donations of clothing and gift cards for necessities and restaurant meals, to the support from neighbors and the Red Cross.

She said that Cheryl Smith asks that people who wish to help can make donations to the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine Baker Institute for Animal Health. The family also suggests donations to the Red Cross.

The Smiths are “really grateful to all of the firefighters” and EMTs who “battled that fire for hours,” Ms. Howarth said.

She said a benefit will be planned, but had no details yet.

As of Tuesday, Ms. Howarth said, the cause of the fire had not been determined.

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