How Denis Leary helped Rachael Ray escape from her home hearth unscathed

Rachael Ray opens up about losing her home in a fire. (Photo: Taylor Hill/WireImage)
Rachael Ray opens up about dropping her home in a hearth. (Photo: Taylor Hill/WireImage)

There was a second on Aug. 9, 2020, the day that TV chef Rachael Ray‘s home burned down, when she found her home was on hearth and she or he thought she had sufficient time to assemble her most valuable belongings. But she stopped, as a result of she knew she was unsuitable.

Ray had labored with firefighters for years, as a member of the board of administrators for actor Denis Leary’s The Leary Firefighter Foundation, which funds coaching, schooling, tools and extra for firefighters.

“I could hear the fire in the wall, and I knew what it was,” Ray defined to Dax Shepard on his Armchair Expert podcast. “I could hear the fire spreading down all the boards behind the wall. And I knew the wall was going to blow out, and there was no time to get anything. We left in flip-flops and [with] the clothes on our back and that was that.”

Ray mentioned that her basis work had required her to don a firefighter go well with and do drills with firefighters to assist elevate consciousness and cash.

“And we would suit up, and go into live fires, crawl on our bellies, learn how to use a hose, go into all of the situations, of course, managed by actual firefighters,” Ray mentioned. “So [with] the training, I finally understood. I had no firefighters in my family, but for years I was fascinated by them, and I had Dennis on the show as many times as I could book him. And every time he came, privately, backstage, I would give a donation to the Firefighters Foundation.”

Denis Leary tapes an look on Rachael Ray’s present in 2008. (Photo: Gilbert Carrasquillo/FilmMagic)

The actor, who performed a firefighter on Rescue Me from 2004 to 2011, finally requested Ray to turn out to be the group’s first feminine board member.

“And then when the fire happened, I knew what the sound was in the wall, and I knew to turn and run and to leave immediately,” Ray mentioned. “I didn’t have my cellphone. I didn’t have a computer. I didn’t have pictures, notes, books, nothing.”

Ray has beforehand defined {that a} man driving by on a motorbike had stopped and alerted her that her roof was on hearth. In the tip, she and her husband of 16 years, John Cusimano, misplaced every part. (Ray thought for a couple of days that her pizza oven had made it, however then the final beam in the home broke. It “split it like a pumpkin.”)

The couple was capable of keep busy within the second.

“We watched until about 2:30 or 3 that morning the house burned. Neither one of us cried. We just stood there trying to problem-solve. ‘Well, now what do we do? What do we do next? How do you move forward?; And it was very proactive,” Ray mentioned. “Then, several nights later, I woke up about 3 o’clock in the morning, and I realized I had lost all my mom’s letters.”

Ray’s mom continues to be living, however she has macular degeneration.

“She’s blind, largely, in the center of both eyes, and she can’t write,” Ray mentioned. “She had beautiful script, and she wrote me such beautiful letters that meant so much to me throughout my lifetime. Decades of her thoughts and her advice, and that’s what hit me. And I woke up and I couldn’t stop. And I had her high school ring that she gave me, and that was gone.”

Work — Ray held a cooking camp for teenagers within the days instantly after the fireplace — and assist from followers is what helped her get by the disaster.

“We started getting so many letters and people reaching out to us and making us things. Ceramics and blankets and quilts and stitching words of love or letters into quilts. It was just overwhelming,” she mentioned. “I’ve never had that experience, where I read every letter and opened every thing and just to feel that amount of people being concerned about you was really. … I don’t know if cathartic is the right word. It just felt like, ‘Hey, this is going to be OK’ and to look at it in a different way.”

In September, Ray proudly confirmed her followers her rebuilt home, simply in need of one 12 months earlier than the fireplace. She writes in regards to the concept of home in her new e book, This Must Be the Place.