Firework accident leads to Mooers house fire on July 4

MOOERS — A Fourth of July fireworks mishap here led to a house fire on Independence Day and ended in a total loss.

“One of the fireworks tipped over and blew into the garage,” Second Assistant Fire Chief Ben Lapham told the Press-Republican. “That’s where it started.

“It just went crazy from there. It went up through the garage, to the attic and across the top of the house.”

Rekindled fire

The Mooers Volunteer Fire Department responded to a call at about 9:50 p.m. Saturday from someone Lapham believed to be the homeowner.

According to the Clinton County Real Property Office, the multi-story home at 402 Route 22 was owned by Lisa Montemayor.

Firefighters left the scene after 3 a.m. Sunday but were called back about four hours later after some flames had rekindled.

Lapham said the home was built in the 1800s and had a lot of “additions and layers.”

“There must have been some hot spots that we missed,” he said, “but we’re not 100% sure where.”

Displaced residents

Lapham believed the event to be a total loss. Per a Monday morning American Red Cross release, two adults and one child had been displaced.

The Northeastern New York Chapter of the American Red Cross said it was providing financial assistance to support shelter, food and clothing for the three residents.

Lapham thought the child had lived with a parent in a mobile home situated next to the house that went up in flames Saturday.

“From what they explained, they were members of the same family, and the two homes shared a joint well,” Lapham said. “With the power being off, they were displaced, too.”

The Red Cross says it also offered “emotional support, health services and comfort kits containing personal care items and stuffed animals for the children. In the coming days, Red Cross staff and volunteers will remain available to help those affected by the fire as they navigate the road to recovery.”

Fireworks safety

Mooers Fire Chief Todd Gumlaw, who was not on the scene Saturday night or Sunday morning, said such an event was “why we stress the importance of safety while using fireworks.”


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