Fire ravages Tupper Lake home

Homeowners safe as several agencies battle the blaze

Tupper Lake firefighter Joe Cormier Jr. stands in front of a house fire at 1645 state Route 30 in Tupper Lake Thursday. (Photo provided — Jim Lanthier)

TUPPER LAKE — Fire trucks lined the road along Tupper Lake Thursday morning as dozens of firefighters battled a house fire at 1645 state Route 30 that claimed the home of the Helms family.

The family was not injured in the blaze.

The Tupper Lake Volunteer Fire Department responded at 9:01 a.m. with two trucks and were soon assisted by the Piercefield, Paul Smiths and Long Lake departments. The Saranac Lake Volunteer Fire Department stood by with manpower at the Tupper Lake station, and a few of the dozen or so members from Paul Smiths were students at the college who work with the department during the semester.

“Everybody brought a great crew and everybody pretty much knows what to do,” Tupper Lake Volunteer Fire Department Chief Royce Cole said. “It’s great to have the great surrounding departments we have for mutual aid, they’re one call away.”

When members arrived, around half the house was already engulfed in the flames, with fire pouring from the windows and roof, and the blaze quickly spread to the rest of the house.

Long Lake firefighter Erik Arsenault, left, and another firefighter work on the scene of a house fire Thursday morning. (Enterprise photo — Aaron Cerbone)

The steep driveway was icy and the Department of Public Works was quickly on the scene to spread sand and dig ditches to direct water flow. The electric line crew also arrived early to cut the power to the house for safety.

Around 30 members from the fire departments set up to “surround and drown” the fire using blitz nozzles to drench as much of the structure as possible.

The second floor of the right side of the house collapsed, leaving only the frame, and the other half was engulfed as well.

Members were not able to determine the cause of the fire but fire investigators Tom McLane, Brian Gokey and Dick Bolster are researching several hot spots for potential clues.

Firefighters battle the flames at a house at 1645 state Route 30 in Tupper Lake Thursday. (Photo provided — Jim Lanthier)


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