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January 31, 2014

Firefighters extinguish Mineville fire quickly

MINEVILLE — A cooking fire damaged the kitchen of a house at 29 Maple Way in Mineville Wednesday evening.

Duncan and Kathy Gemmell and their three children were home at the time of the fire, which was called to the Essex County 911 Center at about 5:50 p.m., but they left the residence safely.

Fire officials said the fire was chiefly confined to the home’s kitchen, but the Gemmells are staying at another location until repairs can be made.

Mineville-Witherbee Fire Department fought the fire, aided by Moriah and Port Henry firefighters.

The fire apparently started when grease in a frying pan on the stove ignited.

INTERRUPTION DEVICE

Mineville-Witherbee Fire Chief Adam Wright said they used a Stat-X fire-interruption device to put the fire out quickly.

“Arriving, (we) found the residence charged with smoke and fire in the kitchen,” Wright said by email. “They deployed the Stat-X into the residence, (and) it completely extinguished the fire.”

The Stat-X fire suppressant is a potassium-based aerosol device that suppresses fire by chemically interfering with part of a flame called free radicals.

Wright said it was the first time they had used the Stat-X device, and it worked very well. He said no water had to be used to fight the fire.

The chief said they then cleared the smoke from the home and were back on station by 7:15 p.m.

Essex County Emergency Services Director Donald Jaquish said he believes more departments will start acquiring the Stat-X devices for use in firefighting.

“The fire department did an excellent job,” Jaquish said. “They got there quickly and did the right thing.”

INSURANCE

The home is owned by Joseph Cyphers Sr., who had insurance on the building, Jaquish said, although the Gemmells did not have renter’s insurance.

The family of four adults and one child got assistance from the Adirondack Saratoga Chapter of the American Red Cross of Northeastern New, which provided food, clothing, seasonal garments and lodging.

Email Lohr McKinstry:lmckinstry@pressrepublican.com

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