Local News

February 4, 2014

Blaze destroys Tupper Lake family's home


“We were then able to set up the large nozzles to surround the structure and fight the fire that way,” Picerno said.

Maroun said firefighters had extinguished the blaze by about 10:30 p.m., but it rekindled just past 11 p.m. and again at 7:30 a.m. Monday.


The home was built in the 1970s, with an addition put on 12 years ago when the Gillises’ son was born.

The mayor said Monday that the Gillis family was temporarily staying at a home owned by Mrs. Gillis’s mother on Simon Pond.

“It was the family’s camp for years.”

Mrs. Gillis works as a school counselor for Tupper Lake Central School District. Mr. Gillis is a real-estate agent. 

He has been family spokesman at times since the disappearance of their nephew Colin Gillis after a party at a private home on Paskungameh Road in March 2012.

As the community has rallied around Colin’s family since then, it is reaching out to help them now.

“I was with (Mr. and Mrs. Gillis) last night, and people were coming over to bring clothes and items for the kids,” Maroun said.


The Gillis home sits on a hill, and the fire was visible for miles, he said.

“It’s just very unfortunate.”

That fire is one of eight since Jan. 26 — over the course of just eight days — in the Franklin County area.

Jarius Chrisjohn, 46; Javin Chrisjohn, 5; and Hunter Chrisjohn, 3, perished when their home at 184 St. Regis Road in Akwesasne burned Jan. 26. 

Pamela Taylor, 45, died in a blaze that destroyed her house in Malone on Jan. 28. 

A fire at 220 Earlville Road in Chateaugay left Marilyn Cown and her two children homeless on Jan. 29, and that same day, firefighters were called to a fire at 5576 Route 11 in Burke where a mobile home was destroyed.

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