Celebrity chef and Food Network talk show host Rachael Ray and her husband are safe after a fire erupted at her home in upstate New York. Ray’s house is near Lake Luzerne in Warren County, which is located about 65 miles north of Albany.
The fire started during the late afternoon on August 9, according to Brian LaFleure, the director of emergency services and fire coordinator for Warren County. When asked if the fire was considered suspicious during a news conference on August 10, he responded: “No, not at all.” He added that Ray and her husband are asking for privacy as the investigation continues.
Ray tweeted about the fire on August 10: “Thank you to our local first responders for being kind and gracious and saving what they could of our home. Grateful that my mom, my husband, my dog… we’re all okay. These are the days we all have to be grateful for what we have, not what we’ve lost.”
Here’s what you need to know:
The Fire Appears to Have Started in the Roof, According to a Preliminary Report By Fire Investigators
— Mark Mulholland (@MulhollandWNYT) August 10, 2020
Ray and her husband, John Cusimano, along with their dog, Bella, were at the house at the time the fire started. They got out safely and went to a neighbor’s house, according to Brian LaFleure, the director of emergency services and fire coordinator for Warren County.
During a televised update on August 10, LaFleure explained that the original call came in at 5:29 p.m. on August 9. The Luzerne Fire Department was dispatched and called for help from other agencies. The fire chief also commented that approximately 14 other fire companies, encompassing between 60 and 70 firefighters, responded to help put out the flames.
#Update on fire in Lake Luzerne at the home of @rachaelray .. her PR team releasing a statement saying “Rachael, her husband and their dog Bella are safe. The house is unfortunately damaged and we don't yet know to what extent.“
This photo was provided to us by Jeff St. John pic.twitter.com/Gqw9qEifY2
— Samantha DiMascio (@SamanthaOn10) August 10, 2020
Flames were shooting through the roof when firefighters arrived at the property. LaFleure confirmed that the house sustained damage but did not provide an estimate as to the total cost. He added that the kitchen “wasn’t touched at all” and that the first floor of the house was “in really good shape.” He said the second floor suffered “substantial” damage.
William McGovern, chief of the investigative unit of the New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control, said investigators are working to determine the cause of the fire. McGovern said his team will also conduct interviews and that a detailed report on the cause of the fire could take up to two weeks to finalize.
He said the fire appears to have originated in the roof assembly, but cautioned that that report was preliminary and that his team needed to conduct further assessments to reaffirm that conclusion. LaFleure added that much of the house was spared destruction because the fire started in the roof and flames “burn up.”
— Cara Sabin (@DerbyCityTVEP) August 10, 2020
— KTAL NBC 6 News (@NBC6News) August 10, 2020
— New York Post (@nypost) August 10, 2020
Fans Have Watched Ray Cook in the Lake Luzerne House Since the Pandemic Began
Fans of Ray’s Food Network talk show have been watching her prepare dishes from the Lake Luzerne property for #STAYHOME With Rachael. She began filming at her home since the coronavirus prompted lockdown orders.
She told the New York Post during a May interview that she had been apprehensive at first about letting viewers see her private space. “This is my home, and over the years Food Network and other media have asked me to shoot here and I’ve always been like, ‘No way. This is my private zone,'” Ray said. “The very first day I got a little teary and it was a little overwhelming. Here I am in sweats with no studio, no fancy makeup or clothes. But it was strangely comforting and cathartic. We get to talk to [guests] on a different level on intimacy.”
According to the Washington Post, Cusimano has been a major contributor to the show since the coronavirus pandemic started, serving as his wife’s “cameraman, producer, cocktail maker and musical guest.” During an episode on July 11, Ray had Cusimano join her on-camera to cook “halibut in tomatillo sauce,” which she described as “our dish.”
Ray also gave a tour of her home’s kitchen and pantry during an episode on April 24.
Ray posted on Facebook hours before the fire started. She wrote that Cusimano was having his “first friend outing in months” out on a golf course. Ray explained that she packed boxes of snacks for her husband and his friends to enjoy on the links, which included cured duck meat, prosciutto wraps, smoked filet mignon subs and aged goat cheese.
Ray Bought the Lake Luzerne Property in 2007 For Nearly $600,000
Ray has owned her property, which is located along Chuckwagon Drive in Lake Luzerne, New York, for more than a decade. Warren County property records show Ray purchased the home for $580,000 in March 2007.
The 4,100 square foot two-story house has three bedrooms and sits on a lot that spans nearly 200 acres. According to Zillow, the property had an estimated value of more than $1 million.
Ray and Cusimano showed off some of their outdoor property during a June 22 episode. According to the clip shared on YouTube, the couple grew “herbs, beets, kale, carrots, onions, zucchini, squash & more” in their home garden. Ray explained that during the winter months, they cover the garden patch with a tarp, flood the area and use it for ice skating once it freezes. She also pointed “up the hill” where the couple keeps a small orchard.
Their backyard was also equipped with a zipline and a putting green for Cusminao to practice.