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Bombay house fire displaces parents, 4 kids

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BOMBAY — A house fire here Saturday morning displaced a family of six.

Darren and Holly Mitchell and their four children — an 8-year-old, two 9-year-olds and a 10-year-old — are staying with friends in Brushton since their home was left unlivable, according to Bombay Fire Chief Mike Dufrane.

The fire started on the second floor of the home, Mr. Dufrane said, and was “deeply feeded” into the building’s attic. Although the first floor was left virtually untouched by flames, it did sustain water damage.

Mr. Dufrane said he is unsure whether the home is salvageable, although the Mitchell’s insurance company will be checking things out in the next few days.

Holly Mitchell made the 8:46 a.m. call to 911 before fleeing the home with her four kids, Mr. Dufrane said. Her husband, Darren Mitchell, was at work when the fire broke out.

No one was injured during the course of the fire. The cause of the fire is still undetermined.

When firefighters arrived on scene there was already heavy, black smoke issuing from the second floor of the house. The ceilings on the second floor had to be ripped out to access flames in the attack, making the job extremely “labor intensive,” Mr. Dufrane said.

At least six firefighters from the about 55 who responded were inside the building at all times, he said. Moira, Fort Covington, Hogansburg/Akwesasne, Westville, Constable, Dickinson, Brushton, Helena and Bangor volunteer fire departments responded with a variety of equipment and manpower.

“It’s hard enough with all that gear on, working in those conditions,” Mr. Dufrane said. “It takes its toll, which is why we needed such a high volume of guys, so we could rotate them in.”

The Bombay fire chief had nothing but praise for the mutual aid system, calling Franklin County’s “the best in the state.”

“We put the call out and people show up,” he said. “They did a great job knocking the fire down. I couldn’t ask for a better group of guys for the work they did.”

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