Firefighters save home in fourth chimney fire call of the year

MOOERS FORKS Hugh Lamoy was at his Bush Road home with his son, Jason, last Sunday night when he noticed smoke coming from the chimney. Leaping into action, he first tried to extinguish the flames himself, then, realizing the fire was too big, called 911. The Mooers Volunteer Fire Department responded shortly before 9 p.m. to find the kitchen at the Sleepy Hollow Ranch residence in flames, with the fire spreading into the attic. Although the firefighters put out the blaze, they faced numerous obstacles. The home itself is set far off the main road and the firefighters had to lay their hoses hundreds of feet to reach the structure. The structure is also more than 100 years old and had undergone numerous remodels. This allowed the fire to become trapped between the walls. There were walls and walls and walls, said Mooers Volunteer Fire Department Chief Raymond Phair. Weather conditions consisting of high winds, ice and bitterly cold temperatures also were working against the firefighters. But, by 1:30 a.m., the fire was out and the departments were all back in service. The structure was ultimately saved, along with the many animals dogs, horses, and one cat that call Sleepy Hollow Ranch home. However, the only undamaged rooms are the rear upstairs bedroom and a first floor laundry room. All of the familys possessions were damaged by smoke, water or fire. Damage estimates are still being computed; however, Mr. Lamoy believes they will likely top $70,000. The home is insured. At this point Id just as soon start from scratch, Mr. Lamoy said of fixing the damage. The house is three-quarters destroyed. The Lamoy family is currently staying with their children who live next door. Many of Mr. Lamoys co-workers from Altona Correctional Facility were on hand Monday to help board up the structure. The Feb. 10 fire is the most recent in a rash of recent chimney fires in the area. Fire Chief Phair hopes the incidents will serve as a wake-up call for the North Country. He stressed people should have their chimneys professionally inspected, especially now more people are burning wood due to high fuel prices. People are not thinking about their chimneys, he said. They need to think about them before we do. In addition to the Mooers fire department, departments from Champlain, Altona, Ellenburg Depot, and Rescue Hose No. 5 responded. West Chazy and Champlain EMS stood by at the Mooers fire station.

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