Groton, N.Y. — A fire in Groton on Monday destroyed a home and displaced a family of four people, according to Groton Deputy Fire Chief Jamie Babcock.
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Here’s what Babcock said about yesterday’s destructive blaze:
— There was extensive damage to the top-floor of the two-story structure, especially since the roof caved in.
— The bottom floor was flooded. “We’re deeming the structure a total loss,” Babcock said.
— The home was lived in by a mother, her brother, and her two children — ages 7 and 9. They are now being assisted by the Red Cross.
— The call for the fire on West Cortland Street came in at 1:19 p.m. Babcock, who happens to live around the street, was there at 1:21 p.m.
— Local firefighters contended with twin obstacles yesterday: 1) The bitter cold, which forced frozen firefighters to rotate in and out, and 2) A double-roof structure that makes putting out fires difficult, according to Babcock.
— As a result, 50 to 60 firefighters were eventually called to the scene to help. Firefighters would remain trying to extinguish hot spots until after 6 p.m.
— The fire was under control within 90 minutes, according to Babcock, but until then was burning badly on the top floor.
— The mother’s brother, 23, was watching the kids when the fire started. “The young man was great at getting the kids out and recognizing the danger,” Babcock said. “He called 911 immediately.”
The children and their uncle were on the bottom floor. The mother was out of the home and at work.
— Firefighters continue to investigate the cause of the fire. They believe it was likely caused by an electrical problem.
— The damage could have been even more difficult to contain had firefighters not been alerted to the fire so soon after it began. “If nobody was home it would’ve been worse,” he said.
— Babcock thanked the other agencies that responded, including: Dryden, Freeville, McLean, Cortlandville and Locke.