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April 23, 2013

Fire badly damages former Saxony hotel

(Continued)

He didn’t speculate on whether the fire had totaled the structure.

The third level suffered extensive damage, he said, with smoke and water issues on the second floor and below.

No one was hurt fighting the fire, Laramie said.

“They’ve done a tremendous job,” Auxiliary Vice President Smith said, watching water spray from the aerial ladder high above the gutted roof. “I never thought they’d save it this much.

“We were just praying the wind would stay down.”

FRIGID FIRE

The original Saxony was a glamorous hotel in the 1800s; in the 1970s, it was a popular bar where live bands performed.

“I remember when the first part burned,” Laramie said.

He was a volunteer with the Chazy Fire Department then, and in Monday’s sunshine, he remembered the frigid temperatures of that January day in 1984.

Laramie had drilled into the ice behind the Log Cabin Motel, just across the street, to get access to water. But 18 inches down, he hit sand.

That’s how thick the ice was, he said.

“Had to go out 40 or so feet to get water,” he said. “That was a cold, cold fire.”

The wood-frame addition that burned Monday was built sometime between 1860 and 1880, Laramie said Mr. Chapman had told him.

One corner near the top still had scorch marks from the blaze that took down the main structure, he said.

The Chapmans were assisted by the North Country Chapter of the American Red Cross on Monday morning and were staying with relatives.

Mr. Chapman could not be reached Monday evening.

Email Suzanne Moore:smoore@pressrepublican.com

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