By FELICIA KRIEG
---- — JAY — Fire tore through a summer home Tuesday, causing about a quarter of a million dollars in damage.
The Jay Volunteer Fire Department was dispatched to 236 Stickney Bridge Road in Jay at about 11 a.m.
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The two-story home is owned by Montreal dentist Dr. Paul Van Wijlen, said Jay Volunteer Fire Department Chief Glenn Williams.
Essex County Director of Emergency Services Don Jaquish said Van Wijlen had last been at the home on Sunday; no one was there when the fire started.
A passer-by alerted authorities to the blaze, and the alarm company that monitors the system in the house called a short time after, Williams said.
Navigating the “extremely narrow and muddy” driveway proved challenging, he said.
Williams said the fire was spreading from the garage to the house when his department arrived; the blaze was quenched after it had burned through half of the house.
Van Wijlen drove from Montreal to Jay after he received news of the fire, Jaquish said, and arrived at the property while crews were still at the site.
The home measured about 1,800 square feet, Jaquish said, and early estimations assessed the damage at about $250,000, he said.
”Everything in the house has smoke and heat damage.”
Whether the home is a total loss will be “up to the insurance company to decide,” he said.
A 1996 Honda stored in the garage was destroyed.
Jaquish said it looks as though the fire started on the outside wall of the home adjacent to the garage.
”We ruled it accidental. But we’re going to wait for the insurance ... to make the final determination.”
Other homes are located close to Van Wijlen’s residence, but none of them were damaged, Jaquish said.
Responding as mutual aid were fire departments from Upper Jay, Keene, Wilmington, AuSable Forks and Keeseville. The Lake Placid Volunteer Fire Department stood by at the Jay station.
Because of the large number of firefighters at the residence, an ambulance from AuSable Forks and one from Wilmington were on standby.
The Jay Volunteer Fire Department was back in service shortly after 5 p.m.
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