By SEAN I. MILLS Sentinel staff writer
COMFORT WHILE HOME BURNS ¿ Resident Antoinette Lamascolo, right, hugs loved ones while her Elmer Hill Road home burns in the background Monday afternoon. Lamascolo's spouse, Ronald Lamascolo, was pulled from the burning building, authorities said. He is under investigation for possibly sparking the blaze. An Oneida County Sheriff's deputy stands by. (Sentinel photo by John Clifford)
MUM ON CAUSE ¿ Sheriff's investigators and Rome firefighters search through the charred Elmer Hill Road residence this morning to try and determine the cause and point of origin of Monday's fire. Despite initial reports that a man was pouring gasoline around the residence, authorities have declined to comment on that possibility. (Sentinel photo by John Clifford)
INTERIOR ATTACK ¿ With smoke billowing out of the one-story residence, Rome and Lake Delta firefighters prepare to head inside to fight the flames on Elmer HIll Road. (Sentinel photo by John Clifford)
SURVIVING THE SMOKE ¿ A Rome firefighter has his air tank switched out before he goes back into the smoke-filled residence on Elmer Hill Road Monday. (Sentinel photo by John Clifford)
A fire that destroyed a one-family home on Elmer Hill Road Monday afternoon is under investigation as a possible arson after reports of a man pouring gasoline around the residence.
A man, 59-year-old Ronald Lamascolo, was pulled from the burning residence by responding law enforcers, according to the Sheriff’s Office. He is in serious condition at University Hospital in Syracuse this morning, medical officials stated.
Undersheriff Robert S. Swenszkowski declined to comment on whether or not Lamascolo was responsible for starting the fire. No charges have been filed.
"We’re not going to comment on that right now," Swenszkowski stated. "No one is in custody and we are determining the cause and origin."
Reports started coming in at about 4 p.m. Monday from a woman who called 9-1-1 that her husband was at her residence at 8491 Elmer Hill Road pouring gasoline around the outside. Swenszkowski said the Sheriff’s Office received a report from a "third party" about possible "suspicious activity" at the residence.
A sheriff’s deputy and a state trooper responded to the scene to investigate.
"They witnessed a window blow out of the house," Swenszkowski said. "Upon further investigation, they found a person inside and pulled him out."
Rome and Lake Delta firefighters were dispatched to the scene. The one-story, wood-frame residence is located only a few houses down from the Lake Delta Fire Department, between Golf Course and Chimielewski roads.
Rome Fire officials said the man was located near a side door and was treated at the scene by
Lake Delta rescue volunteers. Officials said Lamascolo was then transported to Rome Memorial Hospital, and later air-lifted to University Hospital in Syracuse.
The property is owned by Antoinette Lamascolo, according to fire officials. She is believed to be Ronald’s spouse. She was not injured in the fire.
According to City Court records, Ronald Lamascolo has an open charge of second-degree aggravated harassment against him. He is due to reappear in court on June 25.
Deputies said on May 3, Lamascolo angrily telephoned his wife more than 30 times and left numerous voice mails threatening to kill her.
Rome firefighters took about an hour to knock down the blaze Monday afternoon, with assistance from Lake Delta volunteers.
There was "heavy smoke and flames on arrival," said Rome Deputy Fire Chief James M. Kirk. "Two hoselines inside, and we ventilated the roof over the main fire, and we went ahead and extinguished it."
The Rome Fire Department was dispatched at 4:24 p.m. and arrived on the scene at 4:30 p.m. Kirk said the fire took about an hour to knock down, and was declared under control at 5:22 p.m. Kirk said the flames had spread throughout the residence, and at one point he pulled his firefighters out of the burning building.
"I did pull them out at one point because of that one area, the roof was unstable," Kirk stated.
Fire crews remained on the scene dousing hot spots and cleaning up until 8 p.m.
Investigators returned to the scene this morning to continue the search for the cause and origin of the fire.