MORRISONVILLE — It’s likely an out-of-control grease fire destroyed Gerald Carter’s home at 2198 Route 22B in Morrisonville, officials say.
And Carter was taken to CVPH Medical Center in Plattsburgh to be treated for smoke inhalation, Morrisonville Volunteer Fire Chief Kevin Randall said.
The homeowner had refused medical treatment, the chief said, but then an EMT observed he was having trouble breathing.
A firefighter was also taken to CVPH, suffering from smoke inhalation and heat exhaustion, Randall said.
And another firefighter displaying similar symptoms was treated at the fire site.
Crews were dispatched to the blaze at about 2:30 p.m. after a passerby called 911.
Randall said that when he arrived a few minutes later, the first and second floors were fully involved with 15-to-25-foot flames visible.
“It followed the staircase right up to the second floor.”
At about 2:40 p.m., heavy smoke was visible several hundred feet away on Route 3 heading toward Morrisonville.
And each time the wind picked up, thick, gray smoke billowed out of the windows and holes that firefighters had made in the roof to get to the blaze.
Breaking through the roof was made more difficult by the three to four layers of shingles, cemented together with asphalt, that were keeping the heat inside the house, Randall said.
As firefighters battled the blaze, a State Police sport utility vehicle blocked 22B heading into the Town of Plattsburgh, with traffic redirected down Westland Avenue.
On the other side, fire officials were directing traffic to stay on Route 3 rather than take Route 22B.
At 3:40 p.m., two county fire investigators were recording their observations from inside the house as firefighters waited for permission to begin cleanup.
“If we disturb the scene ... it gets much harder (for investigators),” Randall said.