Release Date: November 8, 2012
Incident Date: November 8, 2012
Incident Time: 4:20 pm
Incident Type: STRUCTURE FIRE.
Late this afternoon, Cpl. Robert Fraser was checking on neighborhoods still without power due to Hurricane Sandy. At 4:20 pm, as Fraser was traveling on St. Mary’s Place, he observed thick black smoke exiting from a vent near the roof of a three bedroom ranch style home.
The 14-year-veteran contacted police headquarters and requested the fire department and then exited his vehicle to ascertain if anyone was in the house. As the corporal inspected the outside of the residence he could see that the interior of the attached garage area was engulfed in flames.
The corporal banged on the locked front and back door but no one answered. He could here the yelps of a dog inside the home. Cpl. Andrew Smetana and Officer Brian Hassloch arrived on scene a short time later. The officers forcibly kicked in the front door and were able to rescue a small scared terrier. Three house cats were also found safe. There was no one in the home.
Members of the Sparta and Ogdensburg Fire Departments arrived on scene a short time later and were able to knock down the flames and extinguish the fire. The fire has been determined not to be suspicious. The initial investigation revealed that the home was without power due to the storm and the owner was keeping the residence warm by utilizing the fireplace. Last night the fireplace was cleaned and the embers were placed in a cardboard box in the garage where after several hours they subsequently ignited and spread to the wall. The garage suffered extensive fire damage and the remainder of the home suffered heavy smoke and water damage. Members of the Sparta Detective Bureau assisted at the scene. There were no injuries.