November 15, 2013

Fires battled in Moira, Burke, Fort Covington


---- — FORT COVINGTON — Three fires in 12 hours kept firefighters in northern Franklin County busy Wednesday night and Thursday morning.

No one was injured, but occupants had to flee in two of the fires.

A home at the corner of Jamison Road and Route 11 in Burke and an unoccupied family farmhouse on Chapman Road in Fort Covington were destroyed. And an apartment at 608 Route 95 in Moira sustained heavy damage.


Sabrina Bink said she was about to cook dinner in Apartment 4 about 7:05 p.m. Wednesday.

She had walked into another room to get her 5-month-old son, Brantley, to join her when the smoke alarm sounded.

Smoke and flames were coming from the wiring behind the kitchen stove, “and I got my son and my dog and got out of there,” Bink said.

She took Brantley and Shera the dog downstairs to a neighbor’s apartment, who called in the alarm, and the occupants of three other apartments also got out of the building safely.

The apartment house, situated on Route 95 between Dow Road and Finnegan Road, is owned by John and Donna DeBeer of Keeseville, according to records from the county’s Real Property Tax Service online database.

It is next door to the historical boyhood home of Luther Bradish, the lieutenant governor of New York from 1838 to 1840.

The North Country Chapter of the American Red Cross provided food and warm coats for Bink and her son.

She was able to save Brantley’s crib, but most of his clothing and toys were lost. He is in between size 3-to-6-months and moving toward 6-to-9-months.

Bink was able to buy clothing for herself, but she lost most of her furniture and small appliances.

She does have insurance coverage.

She and her son and dog are staying at her mother’s house so Bink does not have storage space for donations right now. She can be reached at 521-4729.

Assisting Moira volunteers were firefighters from Bangor, Bombay, Brushton, Dickinson, St. Regis Falls in Franklin County and Lawrenceville from St. Lawrence County.

The last firefighters were released back in service at 9:49 p.m., according to Fire Control dispatch.


Volunteers were sent out to 163 Chapman Road at 7:01 a.m. Thursday, where a two-story farmhouse owned by Robert and Burt Chapman was fully engulfed in flames.

“She’s gone,” said Fire Chief Tony Leroux of the house. “She was really going when I got here. There were flames shooting out.”

An assortment of farming equipment stored in an adjoining garage, including a tractor, was destroyed in the blaze, which was helped along by a steady wind from the west “that took it right through the inside,” the chief said.

Helping Fort Covington at the site, about a half-mile off Drum Street Road, were firefighters from Hogansburg-Akwesasne, Westville, Bangor, Constable, Moira and Bombay.

Members of the Franklin County Fire Police assisted in traffic control on the road, which leads north right into Quebec.

Leroux said the structure was a total loss, but crews did a good job of knocking it down against the wind.

It is not known how the fire started or whether the Chapmans had insurance on the farm, which is mostly used now for haying and storage, the chief said.

A sign in the front yard boasts the farm as being designated a Dairy of Distinction in 1988 from the Northeast Farm Beautification Program.

Fort Covington fire crews were back in service at 1:09 p.m.


Gerald and Joan Beck were both at home when fire broke from underneath their manufactured home at 11 County Route 29 at 7:28 a.m., said Fourth Assistant Fire Chief John Martin.

They both escaped unharmed and are staying with relatives for now.

Martin said it was too soon to tell where the fire got its start or under what part of the home it began, “but it was pretty well consumed.”

Gray smoke swirled around firefighters as they snaked a hose through the charred building, and wind gusts picked up from time to time, pulling the smoke to the northeast away from Route 11.

A nearby storage garage was not damaged. Martin didn’t know if there was insurance on the home and its contents. 

The fire was on the opposite side of Jamison Road from Hell Razor Joe’s and across Route 11 from the intersection with Montgomery Road.

The Red Cross provided the Becks with food, clothing, shoes and warm coats.

Assisting Burke at the fire were volunteers from Malone, Constable, Churubusco, Chateaugay, Ellenburg Center and Ellenburg Depot. County Fire Police helped control traffic on Route 11.

Firefighters were back in service at 11:27 a.m.

Email Denise A.