LAKE CLEAR - A garage here was destroyed by a fast-moving fire this evening, but firefighters were able to keep the blaze from spreading to an adjacent home.
The Saranac Lake Volunteer Fire Department was called to 593 Forest Home Road, owned by Richard and Sandra Ducatt, just after 6:30 p.m.
Richard Ducatt told the Enterprise he had just come back into the house from his garage when he heard what sounded like a small explosion.
Saranac Lake firefighter Ryan Siddell approaches the scene of a garage fire Wednesday night at 593 Forest Home Road in Lake Clear.
(Enterprise photo — Chris Knight)
"I had filled the (garage) furnace with hardwood, and then I went out," he said. "I heard a bang. I thought it had to be a tire. I went back out and the garage was on fire."
Ducatt's son Mike lives across the street.
"By the time I got the call, the garage was just totally engulfed," he said.
Mike Ducatt and his father tried to douse the flames with water from a garden hose while they waited for firefighters to arrive, but they had to back off as the fire grew more intense.
"There were two or three acetylene tanks in there," Mike said. "Once it got hot, they started to blow, and we had to get away."
The Paul Smiths-Gabriels, Bloomingdale and Lake Placid volunteer fire departments also responded to the scene with tanker trucks and manpower.
Firefighters poured water on the garage from the outside to try and keep the flames from spreading to the Ducatts' home. A group of firefighters wearing air packs and carrying axes and other tools went through the home. Another firefighter climbed a ladder to check the house's attic for signs of fire.
Despite the firefighters' best efforts, the garage was completely destroyed by the blaze. A backhoe and Mike Ducatt's Chevrolet Trailblazer, which were parked inside the garage, were also lost.
"I just put a new lift and a whole bunch of stuff," Richard Ducatt said. "I've got a lot of money right there. It was built in 1984, and I just put a pile of money into it this year to finish it."
The Ducatts said they didn't have any idea what caused the blaze, although Mike Ducatt speculated that it could have been sparked by the furnace in the garage. Richard Ducatt said he has insurance for his home but not for the garage.
Firefighters were still at the scene as of 8:30 p.m. Lake Placid firefighters were standing by at the Saranac Lake firehouse.
Contact Chris Knight at 891-2600 ext. 24 or firstname.lastname@example.org.