Late night blaze destroys Keene Valley home

A house burns in Keene Valley late Sunday night. (Photo provided by Keene Valley Volunteer Fire Department)

KEENE VALLEY — Fire destroyed a home here late Sunday night and early Monday morning.

The people who were inside at the time were able to escape, and no one was injured, according to Keene Valley Fire Department Chief Stephen “Rusty” Hall.

The cause of the fire is under investigation by Essex County fire investigators.

The fire department got a call about the blaze at around 11:45 p.m. on Sunday, according to Hall. Most of the department — some 14 or 15 members — responded to the home on Mason Young Way, in the housing development behind McDonough’s Valley Hardware.

“The people that were in it heard a loud popping just as they were going to bed,” Hall said Monday. “They came down and saw flames in the living room area. They got out, thankfully. Our firemen moved their car up the road, and that was saved.”

When the fire department arrived on scene, Hall said the home was “fully involved.” The flames lit up the night sky, the home visible from up high on a hillside plateau.

The department got mutual aid from the Keene, Upper Jay, Jay and Lake Placid volunteer fire departments.

Firefighters quickly set up a water supply and tackled the blaze with what Hall described as “sheer determination throughout the night.”

“We knocked it down pretty quickly,” he said.

But the home appeared to be completely destroyed.

“(The fire) had too good of a start,” Hall said. “It was an old house.”

“Thank you to everyone that helped try to save our house,” homeowner Kristen Combs wrote on Facebook Monday. “The gratitude I’m feeling can’t be put into words. We are devastated and our hearts are broken, but Keene Valley is home and we aren’t going anywhere. The community there is unparalleled and the love and support coming our way is so appreciated. Thank you all.”

All of the fire departments were back in service by 5 a.m, according to Hall.

On Facebook on Monday, Hall thanked Essex County’s 911 dispatchers, fire investigators, sheriff’s deputies, the fire departments that responded to Keene Valley’s mutual aid call and other people who offered firefighters sandwiches and drinks.

“Teamwork all around,” he wrote. “Our community salutes you.”


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