Press-Republican

Local News

February 2, 2014

Fire destroys St. Regis building

ST. REGIS FALLS — Almost 20 departments responded to an apartment building fire in the hamlet of St. Regis Falls in the Town of Santa Clara Friday evening.

The St. Regis Falls Volunteer Fire Department received a call at 6:20 p.m. to respond to a fire at 2934 State Route 458. 

Assisting St. Regis Falls were departments from Dickinson, Moira, Bangor, Malone, Owls Head, Duane, Saranac Lake, Paul Smiths-Gabriels, Bombay, Brushton and Hogansburg. St. Lawrence County departments that responded included Nicholville, Hopkinton-Fort Jackson, North Lawrence, Lawrenceville and Parishville.

Firefighters from Helena and Tri-Town Rescue stood by at the Saranac Lake Station.

No injuries were reported, but the building was largely destroyed said Adam Cox, second-assistant chief of the St. Regis Falls Fire Department. Cox estimated that there were two or three apartments within the building.

Only an attached kitchen area, from the building’s previous use as a bar and grill, was left standing.

A Franklin County excavator was used to demolish the majority of the building to allow firefighters to extinguish remaining interior hotspots, Cox said.

An attempt was made early on to fight the fire from inside the structure, but firefighters were pulled back out when temperatures rose too high.

With assistance from a Malone tower truck, which uses a bucket to lift firefighters to spray the fire from overhead, firefighters began an exterior attack against the fire.

A second attempt at an interior attack was made later in the night, but firefighters were pulled back out permanently after signs of dangerously high temperatures were noticed. 

Firefighters continued the exterior attack throughout the night, focusing heavily on the attic of the building where the fire was difficult to reach.

The St. Regis station already had a plan in place for fighting a fire at the apartment building, Cox said, but the winter weather complicated that plan.

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