Press-Republican

Thursday

February 13, 2014

Blaze destroys historic Peru home

PERU — Clinton County fire investigators determined a blaze that destroyed a Peru home Tuesday night started in a wood stove in the garage.

About 60 firefighters from five departments fought the fire in single-digit temperatures, said Peru Volunteer Fire Department Chief Tyler Williams.

The two-story Cape Cod-style home at 2645 Route 22 was likely built in the late 1800s or early 1900s, he said.

STILL SMOKING

On Wednesday afternoon, the fire site was vacant. 

The house had broken windows and crumbled walls, and its rooftops were full of holes. Wisps of smoke were still emanating from the wreckage.

The damage was especially apparent where the fire had started. The garage was reduced to a pile of debris lying on top of a destroyed car. The only object that remained intact was a lone basketball hoop.

HOME WHEN FIRE STARTED

Steve Gainer, his wife and their three children were home when the fire broke out, the chief said, adding that it was likely one of them who called 911.

They were able to escape unharmed.

The Gainers have homeowner’s insurance, Williams said.

The North Country Chapter of the American Red Cross of Northeastern New York provided the family with food, clothing, shoes and seasonal garments, according to a news release.

No one was injured, and the family’s pet was rescued from the burning house.

“The only pet was a turtle, and we got that out,” Williams said.

TANKER TASK FORCE

The Peru Volunteer Fire Department was dispatched to the Gainers’ home between 8:20 and 8:30 p.m. and was back in service by 10:30 p.m.

Departments from Keeseville and South Plattsburgh were called as automatic mutual aid, and the Tanker Task Force was also summoned, with trucks from departments in AuSable Forks and Morrisonville responding.

AuSable Forks firefighters stood by Peru’s station.

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