Lakewood seniors, residents pleased with response to propane leak

WILLSBORO - Sitting around a table, the ladies exchanged stories, sipped from their paper coffee cups, and waited on the latest news.

It was not the usual gathering at Lakewood Apartments in Willsboro, however, because this gathering was taking place at the Willsboro Volunteer Fire Department, and not by choice.

The 12 residents of Lakewood Apartments, along with several other local properties, were evacuated from the area around 8 a.m. Friday, Jan. 6, when a pipe that supplied the senior housing complex with propane was found to be leaking.

Some of the residents were up for the day when members of the Willsboro Volunteer Fire Department started the evacuation procedure, while some had to be woken up.

"I was on my couch asleep, snoozing away," Betty Sayward, a resident at Lakewood, said. "Then I heard that someone was there knocking at my door. I opened it and there was the fireman who told me that I had to get out of the place."

"I had a neighbor knocking on my door and asking me if I had heard about what was going on," Betty's daughter-in-law, Janet, said. "I came down to the fire station and came in to find her and there they all were having doughnuts and coffee."

Other residents also recounted their Friday morning.

"They came around and told us to get up and helped us get over to the fire station," Sadie Hams said.

"I had just gotten done with my washing," Ethel Doyle said. "I was going back to my apartment when a fireman came in and stopped me and told me that I had to get out."

Along with the residents, several pets made their way from the apartments to the fire station.

"I opened my door because I could hear all of the commotion," Patti James said. "They came by and told me I had to go, but I told them I was not leaving without my cat."

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