ELIZABETHTOWN - The early morning sunrise here was blacked out by deep plumes of grey smoke as crews battled a blaze that completely enveloped historic Hubbard Hall on Elizabethtown's Main Street.
The fire began at approximately 6:30 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 11, and was being fought by firemen from the Elizabethtown, Lewis, Whallonsburg, Wadhams, Westport and Keeseville Volunteer Fire Departments, along with standby assistance from the Mineville, Willsboro and Reber Volunteer Fire Companies.
Frigid temperatures hampered firefighter's efforts as the mercury dipped to near zero. Water turned almost immediately to ice, which caked to the walls of the structure as the persistent flames raged on inside.
Also on-scene were New York State Police and Essex County Sheriffs officers, with fire police blocking traffic along Main Street at the intersections of Water Street and High Street. Those making their normal morning commute to school and to work at the county office buildings were re-rerouted around the area to Route 9N.
Essex County Fire Coordinator Donald Jaquish said the call for the fire came in to Essex County Dispatch at about 7 a.m. to 7:15 a.m.
Hubbard Hall, which is located a few hundred feet from the Essex County Complex, was built near 1840 as the home of Orlando Kellogg, Sr. The building was also the site of the Elizabethtown Community House, which was the predecessor of the Elizabethtown Community Hospital.
The building was refurbished in 1997, and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1999.
The building most recently housed several shops and offices.