PPR Moira home gutted by fire

Robert Griffin Sr. lost his home at 150 State Route 95 in Moira to fire on New Year's Eve. Officials believe firewood stacked in the garage had rubbed against an electrical line, starting the blaze.

MOIRA — A home in Moira was destroyed by fire Wednesday night.

Moira Volunteer Fire Department was called to the home of Robert Griffin Sr. at 150 Route 95 at 9:20 p.m.

Fire Chief Tim Trimm said the two-story home is considered a total loss. The owner, who lives alone, wasn't there at the time, he said, and no one else was injured as they fought the flames.

"That's the important part, that everyone goes home," Trimm said of the call that came late on the last night of his term as chief.

SPOTTED BY HIGHWAY SUPER

The fire appeared to have started near an unused outlet in an attached garage/storage shed, Trimm said, where a woodpile apparently pinched exposed wiring inside an unfinished section of wall.

The blaze spread into a living-room addition, through the first and second floors of the home and eventually into the attic.

Trimm said Griffin was notified of the disaster and arrived as firefighters worked to extinguish the blaze.

The chief didn't know if the homeowner had insurance on the property.

The fire was reported by Moira Town Highway Superintendent James Helm, who was out working on roads during a snowy, blustery evening.

"He spotted the fire on the backside of the house," Trimm said.

MANY DEPARTMENTS

Firefighters initially used an exterior attack then brought the fight to the interior as more manpower arrived.

Trimm said there were about 35 firefighters at the fire, with mutual-aid assistance provided by Brushton, Bombay, Dickinson, Bangor and St. Regis Falls fire departments in Franklin County and Lawrenceville Fire Department from North Lawrence in St. Lawrence County.

A crew from the Paul Smiths/Gabriels Volunteer Fire Department was on standby at the St. Regis Falls Station.

Tankers were used to provide water, with refills available from a stream on Mill Road less than a mile away.

The weather, about 20 degrees with snow and winds, didn't help.

"That makes things freeze up quicker," Trimm said.

The fire was under control by about 10 p.m., and then crews continued to monitor and mop up hot spots.

The Moira Fire Department was back in service at 1:43 a.m.

Trimm praised the efforts of all those who responded.

"Everyone did a good job," he said. "These crews left their friends and families to be there. That's a heck of a way to spend New Year's Eve."


Email Dan Heath: dheath@pressrepublican.com

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