LAKE GEORGE - A two-story building housing three Canada St. businesses was heavily damaged by fire Thursday night - and while about 75 firefighters worked to control the smoldering blaze, a block of the busy village thoroughfare was shut down during the height of the tourist season.
Hundreds of spectators gathered to watch the firefighters work to quell the blaze. The building suffering the damage houses Sweet N Sweeter to the south, a tattoo shop, and Sandy Feet to the north.
Bystanders said one of the stores was open at the time of the fire, and customers exited when the fire broke out. Some said the fire seemed to spread from the rear of Sweet N' Sweeter, 149 Canada S..
The smoldering blaze created thick smoke that engulfed the busy main street of the village, prompting authorities to close the block to traffic from Mayard Center on the north to McGillis St. on the south, while taping off a section of the street to keep pedestrians back for over an hour due to the heavy smoke.
Shortly after midnight, Warren County Fire Coordinator Brian LaFlure said the cause of the fire had yet to be determined, and there was extensive fire, smoke and water damage to all three businesses.
Lake George Fire Co. Auxiliary members passed out bottles of water to those emerging from the smoke-filled building, many wearing oxygen tanks and masks.
Two tower trucks were used to battle the blaze, with firefighters spraying water from atop a ladder platform and a hydraulic boom.
Hundreds of tourists gathered to see the firefighters and their apparatus at work.
Working at the scene were volunteers from Lake George, North Queensbury, South Queensbury, Queensbury Central, Bay Ridge, Warrensburg, and Bolton. Emergency medical personnel from Lake George, Bay Ridge, West Glens Falls and North Queensbury also responded.