Bloomingdale home destroyed by fire

Firefighters spent seven hours on Sunday fighting a blaze at a home on Vine Street in Bloomingdale. The home was completely destroyed and the two residents are now looking for a place to live while they prepare to rebuild. (Enterprise photo — Aaron Cerbone)

BLOOMINGDALE — A fire destroyed a family home on Vine Street in Bloomingdale on Sunday afternoon.

Four fire departments from around the region spent seven hours knocking down the flames, fighting back the smoke and dousing the embers.

Mark and Roxanne McCarty, who own the home, were able to safely escape the fire with their dog when it started shortly after noon. They’re still looking for their two cats, whom they hope got out.

Mark said they had lived in the home for 45 years. The house started off as a trailer and over the years they had built onto it extensively — adding rooms, a large front porch and a tower.

“The structure was destroyed by the fire and became structurally unsafe,” the Bloomingdale Volunteer Fire Department wrote on Facebook.

Smoke billows from a home on Vine Street in Bloomingdale which caught fire Sunday. The home was completely destroyed and the two residents are now looking for a place to live while they prepare to rebuild. (Enterprise photo — Aaron Cerbone)

The Saranac Lake Department of Public Works responded with an excavator later to tear down the remaining structure.

The Bloomingdale, Saranac Lake, Paul Smiths-Gabriels and Lake Placid volunteer fire departments responded, and the Saranac Lake Volunteer Rescue Squad did, too.

BVFD brought four trucks and 13 members. PSGVFD brought five trucks and 25 members. SLVFD sent one truck and eight members. LPVFD sent one truck and around six members.

SLVFD stood by at the Bloomingdale fire station while the Lake Placid and Tupper Lake volunteer fire departments stood by at Saranac Lake’s station.

The St. Armand Highway Department kept the roadway sanded around Vine Street.

Firefighters spray water into the smoke-filled porch of a home on Vine Street in Bloomingdale which caught fire on Sunday. (Enterprise photo — Aaron Cerbone)

“We would like to thank all responding departments, the Town of St. Armand highway dept. and SL DPW that braved the cold this afternoon to battle the fire,” BVFD wrote on social media Sunday.

The Essex County Emergency Services department could not be reached on Monday to determine a cause for the fire.

Tonya Woodard, a former member of the Lake Placid Volunteer Fire Department, lives down the street from the McCartys and said she heard the fire call on her scanner. When she got down to the scene she heard windows breaking and saw smoke starting to come out of the holes in the house.

“It was like a matchbook,” she said. “Within seconds the whole thing was just consumed.”

Woodard is a Red Cross employee, so when she saw Mark outside, she introduced herself, took down his information and got the couple connected to the organization’s post-fire services right away.

Four fire departments, including the Bloomingdale and Saranac Lake volunteer fire departments, responded to a house fire on Vine Street in Bloomingdale on Sunday. (Enterprise photo — Aaron Cerbone)

A press release from Mary Alice Molgard, the Red Cross’ Disaster Public Affairs Team Leader, said volunteers from the organization’s Northeastern New York Chapter were able to provide “immediate” aid.

“The Red Cross provided financial assistance for necessities such as shelter, food and clothing,” Molgard wrote. “Volunteers also offered health services and comfort kits containing personal care items, as well as emotional support. … 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.”

A GoFundMe campaign set up on Sunday by a friend had received $20,035 from 181 donors by Monday evening. Its initial goal was reached within hours.

“We are raising funds to help them get back on their feet,” wrote Bonnie Ohmann, who created the fundraiser. “They lost every single thing.”

The GoFundMe campaign can be found at https://bit.ly/33J9SbQ.

The McCarty’s son, Ives McCarty, said on Facebook that his parents hope to rebuild on the land and are looking for a place to live or rent until they can build a new home.

“My mom says ‘I’ve lost everything … I’m not losing my address too,'” Ives wrote.


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