Couple reunited after being burned in fire

Catherine Kurtelawicz

Scott Wolfran and Rene Halwig-Rezendes were relieved to be reunited Sunday.

“We may have lost everything that we own, but we have each other,” Wolfran said.

Wolfran, 36, and Halwig-Rezendes, 28, were sent to separate hospitals after suffering burns in last Friday's fire that destroyed the buildings at 612 and 614 Columbia St.

“As much as it hurt, I cried because I missed him,” Halwig-Rezendes said of her fiancée Wolfran.

Wolfran was released Sunday from St. Elizabeth Medical Center, and

Halwig-Rezendes was released Monday from University Hospital in Syracuse.

Wolfran suffered burns to his hand, and Halwig-Rezendes's burns were more severe, covering her body, including her face and arms.

A third fire victim, Brittany Platt, 22, died Friday of smoke inhalation.

Together on Christmas

Wolfran and Halwig-Rezendes were relieved to be able to spend Christmas together.

Halwig-Rezendes said it was difficult for the pair because it was hard dealing with everything that was lost.

“It's not exactly the way I wanted to spend Christmas, but I'm happy Scott and I still have each other,” she said.

The couple, who hopes to be married sometime in the spring or summer, lived on the third floor of 612 Columbia, a building that contained three other apartments.

That building, and the adjacent building at 614, which was the former home of Elwood's Coffeehouse & Roadshow, was scheduled to be torn down Thursday, but the demolition has been postponed and officials said it will be done today instead.

The couple has since received some help from the American Red Cross, which has given them money to buy clothing and pay for medications.

They are also receiving help from Wolfran's brother, Kris Swift, who also lived in an apartment at 612 Columbia St.

All three are currently staying at Red Roof Inn until an apartment is ready to move into.

Wolfran said the physical and emotional damage caused by a fire is more than he could ever imagine and rebuilding their lives will be a difficult journey.

“I would never wish this on anyone at all,” he said.

Benefit concert planned

A benefit concert for Elwood's Coffeehouse & Roadshow will take place Sunday, Jan. 13, at The Electric Company, located on Varick Street.

Elwood's is being torn down today after the building suffered severe damage in a fire that began next door at 612 Columbia St. Resident Brittany Platt, 22, died of smoke inhalation.

Anthony “Zee” Donaldson, owner of nearby The Electric Company, said he wanted to do what he could to help Elwood's owner Dan Olah rebuild.

Olah and his girlfriend/business partner also lived upstairs from the coffeehouse.

The concert's lineup includes Choke Slam, Paul Fullem, Joe Sweet and Jeremy Petrie.

Tickets are a $5 donation, which will go directly to the Elwood's fund, Donaldson said.