December 11, 2013

Firefighters avert disaster in Champlain, Fort Covington


---- — CONSTABLE — An unattended candle and a child playing with a lighter started fires in two North Country communities that firefighters quickly contained.

At about 1:40 a.m. Monday, smoke detectors woke Stan and Lisa Tulip in their home at 1196 State Route 122 in Constable.

“Upon our arrival, flames and smoke were visible through a window,” Constable Fire Department Chief Jason Trombley said.

A candle left burning in the dining room had started the blaze, he said, but the knockdown was quick, and the fire didn’t spread to any other rooms. 

Fire crews from departments in Burke, Westville and Malone assisted with the effort.

The dining room suffered smoke and fire damage, the chief said, and the Tulips were unable to stay in their home.

“The power has been shut off until they can get the room fixed,” Trombley said.


A 6-year-old playing with a lighter started a fire that threatened an apartment at 25 Spruce St. in Champlain on Monday afternoon.

Clothes and toys were ablaze in a bedroom of the unit, according to Champlain Volunteer Fire Department Second Assistant Chief Walter Lapan.

Champlain Volunteer Fire Department responded to the fire at the three-apartment building just before 4 p.m., with mutual aid from Rouses Point, Mooers, Chazy and Altona fire departments.

They contained the fire to the bedroom and closet of the apartment rented by Angie Marshall, Lapan said; the unit suffered smoke damage, as well. 

No one was injured, Lapan said, but Marshall’s apartment was not habitable.

The house, owned by Chris Pratt, suffered water damage and the upstairs apartment where the blaze began also suffered smoke damage.

“The other two apartments are still livable,” he said.

The Fire Department was back in service at 6 p.m.


The North Country Chapter of the American Red Cross assisted the Marshalls after the fire, providing two adults and a child with lodging, food, clothing, shoes and comfort kits.

The little boy was given a stuffed Mickey Mouse toy.

On Tuesday, the Red Cross gave help to two adults in Plattsburgh after the recreational vehicle they were living in on Allen Street was destroyed by fire. They, too, were assisted with lodging, food and clothing, including seasonal garments.

“Over the next few days, the Red Cross will work with these individuals to assist them in getting their lives back in order,” a press release said. 

 — News Editor Suzanne Moore contributed to this report.