2012-02-23 / Front Page / General Stories

Putnam Lake blaze causes heavy damage to home

Chief: Second fire in 20 years at same site
Eric Gross

Putnam Lake Fire Chief James Gagliardo couldn't believe his eyes when arriving on the scene of a house fire Sunday afternoon.

The same home on Ottawa Road had burned 20 years ago.

Gagliardo sounded a general alarm for his department while summoning mutual aid from the Patterson, Brewster and New Fairfield departments after smoke was observed pouring from the eaves of the one story wood frame building.

What made the emergency even more bizarre was that the lone occupant of the home—a woman described by the chief to be in her 50s—was in the basement at the time and unaware that her residence was on fire.

The woman who was not identified, was evacuated from the home and firefighters extinguished the blaze in 30 minutes time, though not before the dwelling sustained considerable fire, smoke and water damage.

Chief Gagliardo said the Putnam Fire Investigation Team traced the cause of the blaze to a poorly installed chimney for a wood burning stove.

"I was really amazed when recalling fighting a blaze at the same house in 1992 for the exact same problem," he said.

Assisting at the scene were Putnam Deputy Emergency Coordinator Ken Clair and members of the Putnam Sheriff's Department and Brewster State Police.


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