A month after a fire ravaged Rachael Ray’s upstate New York home, celebrity chef opens up about the devastation, which destroyed nearly all of her belongings, including kitchen notebooks, scrapbooks photo and the kitchen of his dreams.
Ray shared new photos Monday from her ruined house before the start of a “very unusual” season 15 of the “Rachael Ray” show, in which she explained how the fire started.
“On August 9 my house burned down. 15 years of memories; 40 years of notebooks, drawings, thoughts, my life’s work,” Ray said at the top of his show Monday. “It took about an hour for this house to collapse and in my mind it took decades before it was even built. During the years that I have lived here, I have learned a lot. Over the next few weeks I think I’ve learned even more. Today we’re going to share what’s left of our home with you. “
The fire started in the fireplace, Ray said, noting that it had been cleaned twice a year. She had prepared a fire in the fireplace before dinner with her husband John Cusimano. Before sitting down, a man started screaming in their garden, she recalls.
“Someone was crossing our backyard on an ATV and was kind enough to come down the hill and say, ‘Your roof is on fire.’ Literally screaming in our garden, “Raysaid.” We went out (and) of course, we were. “
The man told Ray and Cusimanot that he had called the fire department. Ray “immediately” ran upstairs to look for “precious things”: “medicine, photographs, notebooks.
“I heard the fire in the walls,” she says. “It was freezing and freezing from head to toe. I turn to leave and there was a first responder right in front of me, (saying), ‘Get out, get out now. You must leave.’ ‘
She added, “I went to get the dog, and that was it. We left our house.”
Cusimano joined Ray on the show Monday.
“The night the fire happened we were literally watching our house burn, burn and burn,” he said. “It wouldn’t stop. You just think, ‘Oh my God, what’s going to be left?’ Then we went up there the next day … and there’s havoc everywhere. We thought, ‘Oh my God, there’s no house anymore.’ “
Ray and her family are currently staying at their guesthouse across the street, where she films her show. The house will have to be razed and rebuilt after about a year, she explained.
“Thank you to all of our first responders, viewers and friends for their endless support,” Ray added in aTweeterMonday. “We are very grateful and aware of how lucky we are in so many ways.”
Previously:Rachael Ray ‘grateful for what we have’ after fire ravages her home
Firefighters rushed to Ray’s Lake Luzerne, New York, on the Chuckwagon Trail, about an hour north of Albany, around 8 p.m. on August 9 to fight the blaze.
During a tour of the house earlier this year, Ray said she designed the house and “worked 35 years” to get the gas stove and pizza oven of her dreams. The open kitchen includes a large kitchen unit and ‘The Avenger’ a commercial dishwasher.
Ray, who has owned the house since 2013, had filmed episodes of the “Rachael Ray Show” in the home kitchen during the COVID-19 pandemic, preparing food alongside her husband (and a cameraman in the House).
Contribution: Bryan Alexander, Jon Campbell
More:Rachael Ray reflects on the losses after authorities determine a house fire started in a chimney
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