Press-Republican

Police, Fire, Courts

February 18, 2014

Upper floor mostly gutted in Chazy fire

CHAZY — Fire mostly gutted the second floor of Drew Brunell’s home here on Monday morning.

And the first floor saw significant smoke and water damage.

Brunell and his wife, Ashley, smelled smoke, Chazy Volunteer Fire Department Chief Mike Cahoon said. 

“The smoke detectors were going off.”

The couple got out, taking their dogs with them, he said.

The 911 call was made at about 10:15 a.m.

When Chazy firefighters arrived at 1635 Miner Farm Road, the chief said, “there was heavy smoke showing; the fire was on the second floor.”

He couldn’t yet pinpoint it more than that. While the blaze was not deemed suspicious, it remained under investigation on Monday, he said.

And he didn’t know if the home could be salvaged.

EXPECTING A BABY

Built in the 1860s, the house on a curve of Miner Farm Road near the Town of Chazy hamlet of Sciota was the old Brunell homestead, Cahoon said.

“It was balloon-frame construction,” he said. “The fire got in the walls, across the second-floor joists. (We had to) pretty much chase down the fire.”

Firefighters also had to pull down the ceilings on the first floor to ferret out the stubborn blaze, the chief said.

But they were able to save quite a few personal items for the couple, also electronics and furniture — including for the nursery.

The Brunells are expecting a baby, Cahoon said.

‘MUTUAL AID GREAT’

West Chazy Volunteer Fire Department was the first called to provide mutual aid to Chazy.

Mooers brought a tanker and its air truck to fill breathing apparatuses, Altona provided a tanker, and more personnel came from the Rouses Point, Beekmantown and Champlain fire companies, said Cahoon, now in his 18th year as chief. 

“Cumberland Head stood by at our station,” he said. “Mutual aid was great.”

More firefighters were available than on the typical Monday, he noted, because of the Presidents Day holiday.

The Brunells have insurance on the home, the chief said, and didn’t immediately feel the need for American Red Cross Assistance.

He said the couple were staying with family.

Email Suzanne Moore:smoore@pressrepublican.com  

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