PLATTSBURGH — Kris Carver was at work Tuesday morning when he received a call from Plattsburgh City Police.
“‘Your house is on fire,’” he said they told him.
He rushed to his home at 155 Cornelia St., where Plattsburgh City Fire Department had responded at about 10 a.m.
City Police had blocked off traffic in the area around Carver’s home.
”Everything happened so quick,” he said.
The fire was out upon his arrival, he said, but he saw his belongings in ruins when he walked through the door.
“The police detective brought me inside, and they were trying to figure out what could have caused it.”
’LOOKING FOR A CAUSE’
Carver told them that, before leaving for work, he had put out a cigarette in an ashtray. It was smoldering when he left, though, he said.
A lamp that had stood on a table in the living room was found in pieces on the floor, a clue to another possible cause.
Police think one of Carver’s Siamese cats might have snagged the tablecloth as it jumped off the table, knocking the lamp to the floor and igniting the fire, Carver said.
The cat, Sophia Rossi, was still missing Tuesday evening.
She gave birth to four kittens seven or eight weeks ago, and the three still up for adoption were inside the home when the fire started.
Carver’s co-worker Ashley Jennett was searching the property Tuesday evening with a flashlight for signs of Sophia.
She described how firefighters “looked under the smoke” and saw the kittens when they entered the home. Affected by the smoke, the felines were taken to a vet.
Carver said he expected to pick them up Wednesday.
And he believes their mother is still alive.
“They didn’t discover any remains anywhere.”
A window was open, and Sophia could have escaped that way, Jennett said.
After looking for Sophia, she said, she was going to Price Chopper to pick up some groceries for Carver, who was staying with friends in Morrisonville.
While he purchased renter’s insurance when he had lived other places, Carver said he doesn’t have a policy for the Cornelia Street property.
“A month ago, I mentioned (in conversation) the fact that I didn’t have renter’s insurance,” he said.
He was scheduled to move out at the end of the month, after the year’s lease expired, he said.
The only thing Carver was able to salvage from the house was a television that was on a stand on the second floor.
“I don’t know if it works or not,” he said.
Carver’s co-workers at Bill McBride Subaru generously donated money to help him get back on his feet, he said.
“All my friends and coworkers have been extremely supportive in this time.”
Carver and two others who had belongings in the home were given assistance by the North Country Chapter of the American Red Cross, a press release said.
Plattsburgh City Fire Department Assistant Chief Randy Stone could not be reached Tuesday for details on the fire.
The property is owned by Kenneth and Kenna LaMora of Plattsburgh, according to the Clinton County Real Property Office’s website.
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