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Willsboro house fire leaves residents homeless

An electric heater in the garage is apparent cause

Adam Venner and Jessica Besaw escaped the enflamed home at 49 FarmHouse Lane. The home is considered a total loss by Essex County Fire Investigator and Coordinator Donald Jaquish.

Adam Venner and Jessica Besaw escaped the enflamed home at 49 FarmHouse Lane. The home is considered a total loss by Essex County Fire Investigator and Coordinator Donald Jaquish. Photo by Katherine Clark.

A faulty heater in a garage adjacent to a mobile-home is being blamed for igniting a blaze during the morning of March 7 that destroyed both the garage and the home located in the Sheehan Mobil Home Park.

The home at 49 Farmhouse Lane was occupied by Adam Venner and his girlfriend Jessica Besaw at the time of the fire. A neighbor, Robert Brunell, saw smoke, went to Venner’s home and was able rouse the pair who were asleep inside.

Besaw and Venner were able to get out of the house with their two dogs without harm.

Fire dispatch received the call at 9:20 a.m. that the home was in flames.

Donald Jaquish, Director and Fire Coordinator for Essex County, said the building experienced extensive damage and is a total loss.

Responding were the Willsboro Fire Department, Keeseville Fire Department, and Westport Fire Department, while the Essex Fire Department was on standby. Venner, a member of the Willsboro Volunteer Fire Department, was among the volunteer fire fighters who helped extinguish the blaze.

Venner, Besaw and her mother Wendy Besaw who also resided at the home were offered temporary housing from the American Red Cross at the Westport Motel after the fire left them homeless.

The cause of the fire has been deemed accidental. Jaquish said the source of ignition is still under investigation but said it most likely was started by the electric heater located inside the garage.

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