While working on the initial story about the fire in Stamford, New York, I came across a series of photos of a woman running towards the blaze. She was moving so quickly that the images were blurred. The bits and pieces of information I got referred to her as "Miss Remy" and said that she was helping to get people extracted from the burning buildings.

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I put out a call on the Stamford Neighbors Facebook group to track her down for an interview, and she quickly got back to me. Remy Holwick is a Stamford resident who knew just what to during the fire. I'm sure she doesn't want to be referred to as a hero, but I can't think of another word for her actions.

Remy Holwick
Remy Holwick

Holwick, 42, has been coming to Stamford for seven years, and bought a home in 2022. Professionally, she is the founder of New Familiar Creative, a digital creative studio that specializes in branding. She is also a fashion model with a 20 year career.

Following is the transcript of our interview.

WZOZ: Are you currently a resident of Stamford? What is your association with the village?

Remy Holwick: I was introduced to the town about 7 years ago and have been coming frequently ever since; I bought my home here in February of 2022. I was raised in a small town so it felt like home.

WZOZ: When the fire broke out, where was your location?

Remy Holwick: I was inside of Half Acre, a restaurant owned by my close friends when the fire broke out.

WZOZ: All of the pictures I saw of you had you blurred. It looked like you were running in and out of the burning buildings. What were you doing?

Stamford New York Neighbors via Facebook
Stamford New York Neighbors via Facebook

Remy Holwick: I was actually running in and out of burning buildings! When the fire broke out, half of the Half Acre staff evacuated the restaurant, and the kitchen crew and I worked on helping to evacuate the apartments upstairs. One of the women working in the kitchen ran upstairs to help people out, and I was working to get immobile and disabled folks away from the fire. A lot of the running was to get medical care and blankets for disabled residents, since no one was dressed for the temperatures. In those pictures, I was running to find paramedics for an immobilized man who we had worked to move away from the fire, who was having chest pains.

WZOZ: Do you have any medical or crisis training, or were you going completely on instinct?

Remy Holwick: My stepfather was the head of the emergency department in my hometown, so we all participated in the disaster response team there – so when this happened, I just jumped in to do what I knew how to do – keep people calm, keep people warm, get people somewhere safe, get them medical attention, and find families. In a small town, when you live with the emergency doctor, you learn through osmosis. there's a lot of minor surgeries and small things happening around you all the time.

Stamford New York Neighbors via Facebook
Stamford New York Neighbors via Facebook

WZOZ: Have you been in touch with any of the people you helped? How are they doing?

Remy Holwick: Yes I have. The family I spent most of my time with had two members who were mobility challenged, and one who ended up going to the hospital – I followed up with them. It turns out the chest pains weren't a heart attack, and everyone is safe. But we're a small town – we all see each other so often. As soon as you walk out your door here, you're part of the community. That's something that's beautiful about Stamford – we ALL follow up with each other. We all take care of each other.

WZOZ: Are you involved at all with the recovery and aftermath post fire?

Remy Holwick: I'm working with some friends to begin organizing fundraisers – but I don't have anything live yet. We will in the coming weeks. Our own town on Maui where I grew up burned down on October 8; so one thing I know is that recovery is a marathon, not a sprint. Our whole town has been donating to meet the immediate needs of those affected, but those who lost homes, jobs, and businesses will feel the effects of this for a long time. I'm focusing my energy, beyond donating now, to starting to strategize how we can have a positive impact on that long term solution, for the residents, businesses, and employees affected. So many people have lost so much. But I know when my hometown burned, the owners of Half Acre helped me fundraise to benefit our community back home. So did Catskill Outpost, and Birdsong Farms in Hamden. I want to help our community the way it stepped up for me.

I think I can speak for the residents of Stamford when I say thank you, Remy. You are one of the unsung heroes of a terrible tragedy.

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