LAKE CLEAR - For the second time in less than a week, firefighters from several area fire departments were called here to battle a working structure fire.
Monday's blaze damaged a two-story home at 372 McMaster Road, roughly 2 miles from the scene of a Wednesday evening fire at 593 Forest Home Road that destroyed a garage and damaged part of an adjacent house.
Saranac Lake firefighters responded to the McMaster Road blaze at 4:06 p.m. Monday. It was reported by Paul Fletcher, who owns the home but had rented it out to someone else.
Firefighters stand outside a home on McMaster Road in Lake Clear, the scene of a reported structure fire, around 4:30 p.m. Monday.
(Enterprise photo — Chris Knight)
"He went over and let the dog out, and found the house was on fire," said Saranac Lake Head Fire Driver Rick Yorkey. "He said nobody was there at the time."
Several firefighters, including Saranac Lake volunteer Chuck Dobson, who lives down the street, showed up at the scene before any pumper or tanker trucks could get there. They used fire extinguishers and hauled five-gallon buckets of water from a nearby house to try and douse the fire, Yorkey said.
"They had it pretty much knocked down when I got there," said Andy McGill, Saranac Lake's first assistant chief. "They had a hose in there by then and had it pretty well under control."
Three trucks and 20 members from the Saranac Lake Volunteer Fire Department responded to the scene of the blaze, along with a pumper and two tanker trucks from the Paul Smiths-Gabriels Volunteer Fire Department, and tanker trucks from the Bloomingdale and Lake Placid fire departments.
While no flames were visible from the outside, smoke could be seen pouring out of the first floor of the house. Several firefighters donned air packs and went inside carrying pike poles and other tools, which they used to pull apart interior walls in the kitchen area. Another firefighter stood atop a ladder outside the house and used a chainsaw to cut into the attic above the home's front porch, where the fire had apparently spread.
McGill said most of the fire damage was limited to the kitchen area.
"They had it tore up when I got there," he said. "There was a monitor heater down there by the cabinets. It was tipped over, laying on the floor when I got there."
Asked if he thought the heater could have caused the fire, McGill said that hasn't been determined yet. He said the investigation is ongoing.
The house will need some work, but it's not a complete loss, McGill said.
"They're not going to be living in it right in the moment, but they might be able to fix it or remodel it," he said. "It might be expensive, but I'm sure it's savable."
No injuries were reported.
Saranac Lake firefighters were back at the fire station by 6:37 p.m. The Lake Placid Volunteer Fire Department stood by at the Saranac Lake fire station during the call.
Contact Chris Knight at 518-891-2600 ext. 24 or firstname.lastname@example.org.