PERU — There was no saving the garage/shop at Leon Blair Construction late Thursday night.
"When I pulled up on scene, the garage was fully involved with fire, with (flames) coming out of both overhead doors," Peru Volunteer Fire Department Chief Tyler Williams said.
Blair, whose home is also on the property, was awakened by his dog, barking, and saw the fire through a window. He called 911 himself.
"Fortunately, he was able to get his plow truck out of there, which is pretty much the heart of his plow business," Williams said.
TANKER TASK FORCE
There were no other structures threatened by the flames, Williams said, so it was just a matter of quenching the fire.
He called for a tanker task force right away, with tankers filling up with water at South Plattsburgh Volunteer Fire Department's Station 1 and a hydrant in the hamlet of Peru.
Automatic mutual aid had come from South Plattsburgh and Keeseville departments when Clinton County Dispatch first summoned Peru at about 11:30 p.m.; both those fire companies added tankers to the task force, as did Morrisonville.
Sub-zero temperatures didn't complicate matters much, Williams said.
"It happens every year," he said.
Firefighters would rotate, he noted — "every once in awhile sit in a truck and warm up."
While Peru no longer has an auxiliary, some Fire Department members brought coffee for those fighting the flames.
While Blair didn't have much heavy equipment in the wood-frame, metal-sided structure, the chief said, his metal shop was located there.
He also lost a small tractor, a utility terrain vehicle and some snowmobiles. And a lot of hardwood floorboards stacked inside continued to burn through the night.
Williams discovered that when he returned to the site of the razed structure at about 9:30 Friday morning to look for a misplaced tool.
"I decided we needed to put some more water on it."
SCHUYLER FALLS FIRE
And while firefighters put out the fire eating away at the hardwood flooring, Morrisonville Fire was dealing with a garage fire at 340 Soper Street in Schuyler Falls.
Property owner Rebekah Lamoy had seen smoke in the garage attached to her home and called 911, Fire Chief Kevin Randall said.
"She did an awesome job," he said. "She noticed there was smoke in the garage and immediately closed it back up.
"That allowed time for us to get there."
Had Lamoy left the door open between the garage and the breezeway to the house, he said, allowing more oxygen to feed the fire, "we would have probably been looking at extensive damage to the house."
Randall's department was called out at 8:49 a.m. The first firefighter to arrive, he found heavy black smoke concentrated at the back of the garage.
"The fire attack team had a quick extinguishment," he said, and due to that successful effort, it seemed there was no structural damage to the garage or the home, except a closet in the garage was badly damaged.
There was heavy water and smoke damage inside the garage, though, and also to a sport utility vehicle that had been parked there.
The Lamoys lost tools, air compressors, a welder, bicycles and other possessions in the fire, Randall said.
Peru Fire stood by at the Morrisonville station during the firefighting effort. Morrisonville was back in service by 11:30 a.m.
No cause had yet been pegged for either fire, the chiefs said.
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