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Flood-related calls keep fire/rescue busy

May 5, 2011
By CHRIS KNIGHT - Senior Staff Writer ( , Adirondack Daily Enterprise

SARANAC LAKE - The village police department has joined the list of buildings with flooded basements, and gas-powered pumps used indoors have rescue workers responding to air out toxic carbon monoxide.

Saranac Lake Volunteer Fire Department members were called to 28 Broadway around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday after carbon monoxide detectors went off inside the building, which had been evacuated due to flooding last week.

Village Community Development Director Jeremy Evans said the alarms were triggered by exhaust from pumps that were being used to drain 3 feet of water in the basement of the building, which is owned by Les Hershorn. A similar problem occurred over the weekend when pumps were being used to get water out of the basement of the neighboring building, owned by Phil and Wayne Feinberg.

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Saranac Lake Department of Public Works employee Shawn White stands in 18 inches of water in the basement of the Saranac Lake Police Department, where firefighters were called Wednesday after the building’s furnace was affected by the flooding.
(Enterprise photo — Chris Knight)

Firefighters went room by room through 28 Broadway to check carbon monoxide levels and ensure no one was inside. Denny Ford, who owns and runs Upscale Resale, an antique shop in the building, was checked out by Saranac Lake Volunteer Rescue Squad personnel at the scene but wasn't taken to the hospital.

A few minutes after firefighters showed up at 28 Broadway, they were called to the village police station on Main Street after officers reported smelling smoke in the building.

Police Chief Bruce Nason said one of two pumps that were being used to keep water out of the building's basement had broken, which allowed the water to rise high enough to affect the building's furnace. Black smoke could be seen billowing out of the chimney, Nason said.

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"To err on the side of caution, we turned the power off and asked (the fire department) to come take a look at it," he said.

When firefighters arrived, there was at least a foot and a half of standing water in the basement.

Nason said the damaged pump was repaired and put back into service. There was still water in the building's basement this morning but it was no longer affecting the furnace. A generator near the furnace wasn't affected by the flooding because it is in part of the basement that is higher up, Nason said.



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