After a couple of manic weeks of exciting highs, disappointing lows, small victories and exasperating stone walls, we have re-opened our law office 8108 Main Street in Garrettsville. As devastating as the fire was, we are grateful for what we have been able to recover from what was once our office.

While the outpouring of support has been gratifying there are a few whose assistance truly made a difference. Garrettsville Police Officer Matthew Noah was the person who came into my office and got me out as flames were starting to come through the heat ducts. I was working in the back office when the fire broke out and was totally oblivious as the events unfolded.

I am grateful to Garrettsville firemen Ray Collins, Jason Judge and Windham Chief Mike Iwanyckyj, along with others I did not know, who went into our office before it was safe to retrieve our computers, and to Garrettsville Fire Chief David Friess who allowed them to do so.

In the days that followed, my daughter and office manager Casey Kolaczek and son Adam Timmons with a crew of Bert Molnar, Rich Bates and Brian Collins, sifted through the rubble retrieving files, office equipment and personal mementos that I never expected to see again. My staff has been diligent in working long hours reconstructing files, contacting the courts and clients to allow us to achieve a remarkably smooth transition.

I have been especially impressed by the way in which Mike Maschek, the owner of my building, conducted himself during the tragedy and the hours and days that followed. Despite the tremendous financial setback he was experiencing, his concern was for his tenants and their losses as well as the loss for the town. I am looking forward to working with him in the months ahead and being a part of the rebuilding.

My heart especially goes out to my fellow business owners. Due to the nature of many of their establishments, the loss of inventory will never be replaced. I would expect that some will elect to terminate while others will come back. My best wishes to all of them. Our office would be happy to assist them with any difficulties they experience in the days to come. I am hopeful that the proceeds of the numerous fund-raisers find their way to those affected.

So after nearly 27 years in Garrettsville as an attorney, we are still here and not only carrying on, but experiencing a new beginning. On behalf of Casey, my paralegal Dawn Bellino, my associate, Amy Turos and myself, I want to thank our friends, neighbors, clients, courts, colleagues and adversaries for the support and kindness we have experienced.


Dann S. Timmons