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Three fires strike Franklin County in one day

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The rash of structure fires that has struck Franklin County in recent days continued Wednesday with three fires, one of which displaced three people.

A house fire at 220 Earlville Road off Route 11 in Chateaugay displaced an adult and two children late Wednesday morning. Neighbors called in the fire about 11:30 a.m., but by the time firefighters arrived, the house was completely aflame, Chateaugay Fire Chief Matt Helm said.

The garage was partially saved, but the house was a total loss. Residents were not home at the time of the fire and will be staying with nearby family, Mr. Helm said. The house was insured.

Approximately 60 volunteer firefighters and eight separate departments responded, using about 50,000 gallons of water to douse the flames.

Earlier in the day, a mobile home on Route 11 in Burke also caught on fire, but the blaze was confined by firefighters to a single bedroom and bathroom. Half of the residence was saved, including the home’s source of heat, so firefighters said it appeared that tenant Bill Paterson will continue to live in the unaffected portion while landlord Jimer Johnson rebuilds. The property was not insured.

The American Red Cross reported that it provided food, clothing, shoes, seasonal garments and “comfort kits” to a couple who lived in the trailer.

Carl Dunn of the Burke Volunteer Fire Department reported that the tenant’s belongings were saved because of a quick response time. When firefighters arrived, only smoke, not flames, was visible from outside the building.

The winter weather affected efforts to fight the flames, with wind and freezing temperatures causing the nozzles of the fire hoses to ice over when trucks went to fill up. About 30 volunteer firefighters and five departments responded, and a lane on Route 11 was closed while they worked.

In Fort Covington, there was also a barn structural fire about 6 a.m. The Fort Covington Volunteer Fire Department responded, with six other departments providing mutual aid. Firefighters were on the scene for about 4 hours.

The causes and origins of each fire are still under investigation.

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