February 18, 2013

Home leveled by Moriah fire

Family displaced by blaze; no injuries reported

MORIAH — A fire that roared through a two-story apartment building in Moriah Sunday afternoon left one family seeking shelter.

Larry and Doris Evens had left their 169 Edgemont Road home shortly before heavy smoke began pouring from the building’s doors and windows.

The Evens’s had gone to visit family members who live nearby when they saw fire engines racing by heading toward their residence.

“We were down-street,” Larry Evens said as he watched the fire from the shelter of a nearby barn. “We were lucky we weren’t there, and that we took our dog with us. We’re all OK.”

Evens said they were getting help from the American Red Cross.

“We lost everything, but at least the wind is blowing the right way. It saved the barn.”

The home and an adjacent barn, located near the intersection of Edgemont and Fisk roads in Moriah, are owned by farmer Bernard “Buck” Beebe, who lives nearby.

Beebe said a passer-by saw the smoke and stopped at his house to call 911. He said he plans to rebuild the home.

There were two apartments in the building, but only one was occupied.

Evens said they’d left clothing in a clothes dryer that was running when they went out and that may have malfunctioned, but fire officials said it was too early to speculate on a cause for the fire.

The Essex County Fire Investigation Unit is handling the investigation into the cause of the blaze. County Emergency Services Director Donald Jaquish and Fire Investigator Joseph Norton were both at the fire site. Jaquish said they won’t be able to get inside until the ruins cool down.

The structure is a total loss, Jaquish said.

Evens said he believes they can stay with family members until they find new lodging. The Red Cross has also offered to put them up in a motel.

Moriah firefighters got mutual aid from Port Henry, Mineville-Witherbee, Crown Point and Ticonderoga. Westport brought the County Air One truck to the scene to refill oxygen packs. State Police and Moriah Ambulance Squad were also there.

A lack of water at the remote location hampered firefighting efforts and the county tanker task force was called into service to ferry water to the fire.

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