By Marco Socci LIVERPOOL, N.Y. (NCC News) – The popular Raven Haven haunted house in Liverpool burned to the ground on its opening night just two years ago. The Dombroski family, who runs the haunt, had to use a tent in their yard for last year’s edition of Raven Haven, but after the family’s decision to rebuild, it now has a new, permanent home.
It was an electrical fire that started in the corner of the house. Minutes later the entire building was up in flames. The Dombroski family stood in the street in shock.
“It was devastating,” said Diana Sleiertin, the Dombroski’s daughter-in-law and spokesperson for Raven Haven. “I watched my in-laws sit in the street crying as they watched 13 years worth of work and effort and passion and love go up in flames and smoke.”
Despite people being in the house when the fire broke out, there were no injuries, but the building itself was reduced to rubble. After the devastating fire, the effort to rebuild would be a tough one, but the Dombroski’s were embraced by the Liverpool community.
“The community came out in force,” said Sleiertin. “Not only with donations, but just general support. We did have a lot of problems from the town, and all of the community was very willing to speak on our behalf to the town to say that they want this back.”
But that alone wasn’t enough to convince the Dombroski’s to rebuild Raven Haven.
“The night of the fire, Saturday night, early Sunday morning, we were talking as a family that this was it. It was done,” said Sleiertin. “We weren’t going to rebuild. And there was a knock at the door…the little girl from down the street who’s been coming since she was three-years-old showed up at the door with her piggy bank and she gave it to my father-in-law and said she was sorry for the fire and she wanted to give her money to help us rebuild.”
The little girl’s name was Lola, and that was all the convincing the Dombroski’s would need. And as a show of gratitude, Lola’s bright green piggy bank is now a cornerstone of the new Raven Haven.
“If it were not for Lola and if it were not for her piggy bank, this haunt would not still be here,” said Sleiertin. “So we wanted to make sure that we gave her actions and her piggy bank a place of honor, and so that’s why it’s one of the first things people see when they come in.”
With the fire still in mind, the opening of the newly built haunted house made the family a little apprehensive, but they are excited to begin a new chapter in the history of Raven Haven.