Electrical issue sparked Curtis Lumber fire

Store reopens with limited service

Firefighters from the Lake Placid Volunteer Fire Department work in the front door of Curtis Lumber while battling a blaze that broke out at the business in Ray Brook around 8 p.m. Sunday. 
(Enterprise photo — Lou Reuter)

Firefighters from the Lake Placid Volunteer Fire Department work in the front door of Curtis Lumber while battling a blaze that broke out at the business in Ray Brook around 8 p.m. Sunday. (Enterprise photo — Lou Reuter)

State fire investigators have provided more information on the cause of a Sunday night blaze that damaged part of the Curtis Lumber storefront in Ray Brook.

“The state Office of Fire Prevention and Control has determined that the fire was caused by an accidental electric event,” spokeswoman Kristin Devoe wrote in an email Friday. She didn’t elaborate any further.

More than 50 firefighters and numerous trucks from the Saranac Lake, Bloomingdale, Lake Placid, Keene and Wilmington fire departments responded to the blaze on state Route 86, across from the state Adirondack Park Agency. The fire, which broke out around 7:30 p.m., was concentrated on the western end of the business’ storefront, where its paint supplies are located.

Firefighters contained the fire damage to that end of the building but the rest of the store sustained smoke and some water damage. Curtis Lumber is closed on Sundays, so no one was there when the fire started.

The store has since reopened for lumber and building material purchases from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

“This limited service will continue for the next few weeks while the company is busy rebuilding their retail store,” reads a Curtis Lumber press release. “Contractor sales representatives are on-site and available by phone to service our customers and community.”

Company officials say they wouldn’t have been able to restore limited business so quickly if it wasn’t for the quick response of the firefighters who responded.

“We are humbled by their efforts and the overall community support and outreach we have received,” Tim Lacey, Curtis Lumber’s regional director said in the release. “We look forward to inviting everyone to a grand re-opening of our retail store in the next several weeks.”

The Ray Brook location is one of 21 Curtis Lumber sites in central, eastern and northern New York, and northern Vermont.

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