Press-Republican

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December 8, 2013

Upper Jay home destroyed by flames

UPPER JAY — The fire that destroyed an Upper Jay home early Saturday was too far advanced for firefighters to save the place.

“It was far ahead of us,”  Upper Jay Volunteer Fire Department Fourth Assistant Chief John Devlin said of the home at 895 Bartlett Road, which he described as “at least two stories.”

Fire Chief Jeff Straight agreed, saying the structure was too far gone by the time it was reported and firefighters arrived a few minutes later.

“When we came around the corner, I could see straight through the house.”

The Keiffer family owns the home, Straight said, but no one was living there in the immediate past. The property is for sale, listed for about $295,000, he said.

Devlin said the family may live out of the state.

CLOSED ROAD

No one was injured in the blaze, the chief said. And the fire had not been labeled as suspicious by Essex County fire investigators as of Saturday afternoon.

Upper Jay Volunteer Fire Department was dispatched to the seasonal residence at 4:11 a.m., according to Clinton County Dispatch.

Firefighters had to navigate tankers through the one-lane dirt road to the home, Straight said.

To gain entry to the property, authorities had to block off a short segment of Bartlett Road from the location of the house to Crowningshield Road, Straight said.

The road was reopened when the department left the fire site at about 10:20 a.m., he said.

SAVED GARAGE

Firefighters were able to save a detached two-car garage located about 100 feet from the home, Straight said.

Providing the water supply to fight the blaze was the biggest challenge, he said.

“Once we got the water supply established, everything went well from then on.”

It was unknown Saturday whether the homeowners have insurance.

’UNDER INVESTIGATION’

Essex County fire investigators responded to the property Saturday morning, but Straight said the cause would be difficult to determine since the house is mostly destroyed.

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