PORT DOUGLAS — County and state fire investigators are trying to determine the cause of a fire that destroyed a large three-story home here Saturday morning.
A few minutes after noon Saturday, Essex County Emergency Services Director Don Jaquish stood surveying the still-smoking remains of the octagon-style building, located at 21 Kessal Park Road in the Hamlet of Port Douglas in the Town of Chesterfield.
The only thing still intact was a small storage building that was attached to a partially-burned wooden deck that stretched down a small hill to the main part of the home.
Essex County Fire Investigator Joe Norton was at the fire site Saturday morning and was met later by New York State Fire Investigators Bill McGovern and Rich Daws, who traveled from Albany to assist them.
After they were dispatched just before 5:30 a.m., fire departments had to navigate pumpers, tankers and an aerial truck through the one-lane road that leads to the remote location situated on Lake Champlain, Keeseville Fire Chief David Perky said.
About 40 firefighters aided in the effort to extinguish the blaze, Perky said.
No one was at home when the fire broke out, Perky said, and it was reported to authorities by a neighbor.
“By the time we got there, it had a pretty good head start on us.”
Foam was used along with water to target the flames that consumed the wooden structure, Jaquish said.
There was minor damage to the exterior of the house next to 21 Kessal but Jaquish said it could have been much worse.
“If they (the Fire Department) got here later, it would have been on fire (too).”
‘TWO PETS DIED’
At about 1 p.m., Keeseville firefighters returned to what remained to douse smoke that was still issuing from the rubble.