Blaze destroys Keene Valley workshop

Lack of water hindered early effort to drown fire on St. Huberts Road

KEENE VALLEY — Firefighters kept a barn fire from spreading to a nearby home at 37 St. Huberts Road here Saturday afternoon.

Essex County Dispatch put out a call for the fire at 2:58 p.m. with Keene Valley Volunteer Fire Department responding.

The barn was fully engulfed by the time firefighters arrived, Keene Valley Fire Chief Stephen “Rusty” Hall said.

The barn was being used as a private workshop for mechanical repairs, Hall said, and was a total loss.

Unmanned Blitzfire guns were set up to provide an initial attack on the blaze.

“That puts down a lot of water,” Hall said.

A strained water supply hindered early firefighting efforts but Hall said firefighters carried on regardless.

“The crews, with limited water supply, did excellent to save their actual dwelling which is close by and was in danger,” the chief said.

Mutual aid departments were eventually able to send enough tanker trucks to meet water needs.

Mutual aid was provided by departments from Keene, Jay, Upper Jay, Lake Placid, Wilmington, Ausable Forks and Elizabethtown.

Saranac Lake stood by at Keene Valley’s station.

The property is owned by Melanie and Matthew Porter, according to the Essex County Office of Real Property website.

The cause of the fire was under investigation Saturday night, and Hall did not know if there was insurance on the structure.

Keene Valley was back in service by 7:10 p.m.