April 16, 2014

Fire crews respond quickly to douse fire

Woman, three children uninjured in city blaze

PLATTSBURGH — Kristin Devoe and her three young children were inside their first-floor apartment when their building caught fire Tuesday morning, police said.

Shortly after noon, the family was being evaluated by EMTs in an ambulance parked outside 42 Smith St.

“They’re just being checked out,” Plattsburgh City Police Lt. Patrick Rascoe said of Devoe and her children.

Plattsburgh City Police Lt. Scott Beebie said later that they did not require further medical attention.


The front porch of the two-apartment home was fully involved, with flames extending up into the eaves of the two-story combination brick-and-wood home when the first firefighters arrived, said Plattsburgh City Fire Department Capt. Scott Lawliss.

The fire call was dispatched at 10:49 a.m.

Since they had received a report that people may be inside, firefighters quickly doused the flames, and a team of two entered the structure, finding no one, Lawliss said.

Devoe and her children were already outside, Rascoe said, and Devoe’s partner, Steven Dobson, wasn’t home.

Sanford Baker and his girlfriend, Julie Castello, lived in the upstairs apartment but also weren’t home during the fire.

The two families received assistance from both the North Country Chapter of the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army on Tuesday, Beebie said.


Firefighters doused the flames in short order, Lawliss said.

“They did quick work of pulling down the facade and knocking it down.”

A light rain fell as about 15 city firefighters dug in to make sure no fire was left in the walls at about 11:30 a.m.

The fire, Lawliss said, “may have started inside and vented onto the porch.”

The covered wooden porch was completely destroyed, and firefighters used axes to pull out the boards, blackened by the fire, to ensure there weren’t any smoldering embers.

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