STONY CREEK - A fire on Sunday morning destroyed a large, 30-year-old hunting camp on Lens Lake Road, a considerable distance into the hills above Stony Creek Center.
The fire was reported by a neighbor who spotted the smoke pouring out of one side of the house at about 10:45 a.m. Within about 15 minutes, the two fire engines of the Stony Creek Volunteer Fire Co. were first to reach the fire.
When the engines arrived, the building was completely engulfed in flames and the fire was spreading up the bank at one end of the house toward the forest. Firefighters under the direction of Second Asst. Chief John Thomas battled the encroaching flames.
Soon after, the Thurman, Hadley-Luzerne, and Corinth fire companies arrived. ≈
It was impossible to enter the building, fire officials said. All the resources of these fire engines were used to provide water to suppress the fire and occasionally to protect the forest. Even so, the fire became more intense. At the height of the fire's intensity, flames shot far into the air, carrying smoke at least 150 feet over the house, and dropping live fly ash into the forest a few hundred feet away. A neighbor scouted the floor of the forest and found ashes that had been carried into the wooded area and extinguished them.
The camp's owner, James F. Bowman of South Glens Falls, and his family members were hunting on the state land at the end of the road. When the party of four men returned early afternoon, they saw the cadre of fire equipment and fire police blocking the road and only the blackened, smoldering remains of the building on the ground, with firefighters training hoses on smoking areas. The neat, green painted camp was built by hand by Bowman and his family 30 years ago and served as a base for hunting through the years.