New Milford musician loses music machines in apartment fireplace

NEW MILFORD — “A total loss” is how resident Dean Snellback describes very last week’s fire problems to his Railroad Street apartment.

“I almost certainly have a $45,000 decline,” claimed Snellback, a local musician who said he estimates losing about $20,000 worth of audio products in the hearth.

“My daughter was with me (the other evening), digging by the rubble,” he explained. “We tried out to see if there was nearly anything that was salvageable.”

The fireplace, which began about 9 p.m. Sept. 1, took spot in a 4-apartment building at the intersection of Lender and Railroad streets, Fire Marshal Kevin Reynolds mentioned the early morning soon after the blaze.

“Just about all the things was affected from the fire,” Reynolds added on Tuesday.

Snellback wasn’t house at the time of the hearth.

“I was heading by way of city and I saw that a good friend of mine was playing music at an additional area in town, so I pulled over and went in and was owning a beer,” Snellback claimed. “A fifty percent-hour later on, there is hearth vehicles screaming by and any individual arrived in and explained there is a there is a fire suitable down the highway on Railroad Avenue. I requested him, ‘which setting up?’ and that sounded like mine. I ran down and it was my apartment that was on hearth.”

Snellback mentioned the hearth started out in his music office environment where by he experienced been operating all working day.

“I also had my cable modem and router there and printers and I had a few of … pretty, incredibly good electric power strips with surge protectors,” he reported.

Snellback is lead singer and guitarist in the BluesyLand Band. He explained his biggest loss is all his musical devices.

“I likely have $20,000 well worth of new music equipment that I use on a regular basis for my dwelling — guitars and recording devices, PA units and amplifiers,” he stated.

His daughter designed a fundraising website page to aid her father, which can be accessed by checking out .

Inside three days of its development, the webpage elevated additional than $16,000 from 130 donations.

‘Outpouring of compassion’

Snellback, who was a hearing professional in Danbury and Southbury, retired to return to songs whole time.

“Then COVID took place and I missing all my performances. I’m now performing complete-time as a solo singer-songwriter with my band,” Snellback said.

“Anyone who hires me is welcome to permit me sing for my supper,” he included.

Snellback, who moved into the apartment in July just after dwelling in Newtown for 30 decades, was informed it will take about a few months ahead of he can transfer back again in.

“It’s received to be absolutely gutted and restored. And I truly like the apartment and I like the landlords and I like the area,” he stated. “I hadn’t yet gotten my renter’s coverage, so anything is a loss.”

He grew to become emotional when speaking of the generosity he has gained.

“People who are in my age group who now are empty-nesters but they even now have their properties — they mentioned, ‘Look, you know, my young ones aren’t listed here. We obtained area,’” said Snellback, who is 69.

Snellback has done at quite a few venues since the hearth and by word of mouth, quite a few musicians have heard what took place and have donated devices to him.

“I’m aspect of a large community of musicians and the outpouring of compassion has been profound. That night (of the hearth), I performed at the White Silo Farm & Vineyard in Sherman and I had eight to 10 guys show up with guitars and tools,” he mentioned. “I had a person demonstrate up with a $4,000 guitar. He insisted that I continue to keep it as extended as I require it. I utilised it all over again previous night time and it’s the most incredible instrument I’ve ever played.”

On the evening of the fireplace, Snellback said his buddies Stacy and Jeff Murphy, who took him in, stood exterior his building with him for 3 hours.

“Then they brought me into their home and (Stacy Murphy) opened up donations in her cafe. Persons have been bringing apparel and someone donated a computer system and a tv,” he said. “Their cafe, (Cafe 1840 in New Milford), has just been spearheading this whole community effort.”

Snellback’s daughter, Leigh Gocklin, who life in New Jersey, explained her father “was just starting to get settled in and get his things arranged — and then this happened.”

She explained her father’s “entire life” was in that apartment.

“He’s a lifelong of audio equipment collector, all of our household photographs, all his critical paperwork — anything is gone.” Gocklin said.

She explained one of the couple merchandise that was salvageable was a flag he bought from her grandfather’s funeral.

Snellback stated he under no circumstances would have imagined something like that can take place.

“It felt protected and safe and I in no way, in a million several years, believed about a fireplace,” he claimed.

He mentioned he hopes to continue to be in New Milford.

“The folks in New Milford, the outpouring, the community, the city, have just been awesome,” he stated. “I’ve just been placing 1 foot in entrance of the other, just making an attempt to get by means of the fact of it.”

On Wednesday, a reward concert for Snellback will be held at 6:30 p.m. at Housatonic River Brewing, 30 Kent Road in New Milford. A different advantage live performance is established for Sept. 25 at Sticks and Stones Farm, 197 Huntingtown Road, Newtown.

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