Mooers family loses home to fire

Resident in critical condition after returning for wallet

A Jan. 4 fire destroyed this home in Mooers. Thomas Barlow was transferred to Fletcher Allen Health Care for burns.

A Jan. 4 fire destroyed this home in Mooers. Thomas Barlow was transferred to Fletcher Allen Health Care for burns. Photo by Stephen Bartlett.

— The Red Cross has reached out to the family of a man critically injured in a fire in Mooers.

Thomas Barlow and four others escaped the blaze at 2474 Route 11, but Barlow was injured after he returned to retrieve his wallet.

Barlow was transferred to CVPH Medical Center and then Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington.

“He got burned pretty bad,” said Raymond Phair, chief of the Mooers Volunteer Fire Department.

The fire department received the call about fire at 6:29 a.m. Tuesday morning, arriving within a couple minutes on the scene to find flames shooting out the back of the house and threatening the residence next door.

“There were also heavy smoke conditions,” Phair said.

Firefighters first tackled the blaze by entering the burning home with a fire hose to search for any possibly occupants inside. But by that time, Barlow and his family had escaped from the house.

Phair heard that Barlow received his injuries when he re-entered the home to retrieve his wallet.

“That’s what I heard,” Phair said.

Barlow would later be transferred to CVPH Medical Center and Fletcher Allen Health Care, where he was listed in critical condition.

After that, firefighters couldn’t do much as they had to wait for NYSEG to turn the power inside the home off.

“You can’t put water on high voltage,” Phair explained. “It’ll come back and kill you.”

An hour later, with the power off, rescuers battled the blaze.

Assisting the Mooers volunteer Fire Department were units from Champlain, Rouses Point, West Chazy, Altona, Ellenburg Depot, South Plattsburgh and Hemmingford, Quebec.

“No firefighters were injured,” Phair said.

And firefighters saved the house next door, though Barlow’s residence was a loss.

“We got back in service about 11:30,” Phair said.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation, but the family lost heat in the middle of the night and had been using electric heaters.

“We are not sure if it was the electrical heater or wiring,” Phair said.

But he believed the fire started on the first floor and worked its way up.

There were no rekindles after firefighters extinguished the blaze.

“They did a good job putting the fire out,” Phair said. “All the people and mutual aid were great.

“Even the next door neighbors supplied us with hot coffee and doughnuts. I would really like to thank the community for supporting us.”

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