December 26, 2012

Rapid response saves guest house from flames


---- — CHAMPLAIN — A rapid response saved a guest house from serious damage late on Christmas Eve.

Penny and Al Favreau were asleep in the single-story log home at 75 Southwick Road in the Town of Champlain when Mrs. Favreau was awakened by the fire shortly before midnight.

She said she heard a noise that sounded like a breaker had tripped, then more noise that sounded like kindling burning.

“I got up and went into the living room. It was filling up with smoke,” Mrs. Favreau said. 

She woke her husband and called 911 as they evacuated. Flames were already showing at the roofline when they got outside. 

“I was sleeping. She woke me up,” Mr. Favreau said.

He said there was about 6 feet of fire damage on each side of the wood stove from floor to ceiling. There is also smoke and water damage, but nothing too severe.

The only damage visible from the exterior Tuesday afternoon was peeled-back sections of the metal roof near the chimney and charred insulation on the ground.


Mr. Favreau said one son and his family live across the road, while two other sons live about 8 miles away. They had all celebrated Christmas at the Favreaus Monday.

The Favreaus have been staying in the guest house that sits behind the main home under renovation on the wooded lot. They recently got a certificate of occupancy for the main home but were waiting for hot water and some other connections to be finished.

“We were hoping to get into here (the main home) for Christmas,” Mrs. Favreau said. “We have.”

They plan to call their insurance company Wednesday morning and said they hope to be able to repair the damage.


Emergency responders, led by the Champlain Fire Department, arrived within minutes and did a great job in extinguishing the flames, Mr. Favreau said.

“We’re very appreciative,” he said.

Champlain Fire Chief Pete Timmons said flames were showing from the roof near the chimney as crews arrived. 

“We knocked it down quickly. There was minimal damage,” he said.

The Mooers Fire Department sent a crew and one truck to the fire, while a crew and truck from the Rouses Point Fire Department was on standby at the Champlain station.

Timmons estimated they used about 4,500 gallons of water from their two trucks and 1,500 gallons from the one from Mooers to put out the fire. Champlain was back in service by about 1:30 a.m.


Even though the fire call came in the middle of the night on a holiday, Timmons said it was just business as usual.

“It was Christmas Eve, and someone needed our help,” he said. “We try to do the best we can each and every time we go out.”

He thanked all those who responded for their rapid response. 

The tragic shooting of firefighters near Rochester earlier in the week made no difference in their response, Timmons said.

“We don’t even think about it. We just go out and do our job.”

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