Susannah Grange assumed she was taking the usual drive home from Lake Minnewaska one August afternoon, but as she drove up Lexington Avenue in Poughkeepsie, she laid eyes on a scene she never expected or hoped to see: a house in flames and three women on the side of the road bleeding and burned.
The women had jumped from a second-story window after a fire spread from the lower level and engulfed the stairway, trapping them inside with no other way out. Grange noticed people were taking photos but nobody had called 911. As she stepped in to assist them, she directed a bystander to make the call. “I will never forget these three women and the pain, fear, and trauma they were going through,” says Grange. “The only thing I could offer them was comfort. My heart ached for them as I watched everything they owned disappear.”
Even after that night, Grange, the owner of Hudson River Yoga, continued to help the four families affected, calling on her studio community to donate whatever they could. A collection jar in her office quickly filled with money and gift cards. To date, she has raised nearly $1,500. “She continues to be in touch with the families regularly and is a beacon of love and support for them,” says Amy Reed, a friend of Grange’s who first notified Hudson Valley magazine of her selfless deeds. “She has such a huge heart.”
Grange is still taking donations; she is specifically looking for clothing and school supplies to help the children who were affected. If you’re interested in helping, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.