Blaze destroys two-story house in Verona, dog dies

Published Mar 18, 2017 at 1:00pm

VERONA — A two-story house on Clinton Street was destroyed and the family dog perished in a blaze Friday evening.

The cause remains under investigation.

Durhamville Fire Chief Eric Wilcox said his department was called to the scene around 7:18 p.m. With the intensity of visible flames, mutual aid was called from New London, Verona, Oneida Castle, North Bay and Sylvan Beach volunteer companies. Vernon and Vineall Ambulance were placed on stand-by.

Chief Wilcox said he didn’t know who called in the alarm, but that no one was home at the time.

“It was a working fire when we got there, it had definitely been working for a while,” he said.

Between 75-100 firefighters responded, the chief said, who originally initiated an interior attack until the floor caved in.

“The second floor collapsed while we were trying to extinguish it,” the chief said. “Luckily the guys pulled out right after they noticed it was burning through the floor. No one got hurt.”

Despite the volume of snow dumped by winter storm Stella Tuesday and temperatures that ranged from the high 20s to low 30s, Wilcox said weather conditions did not hamper the fight. However, volunteers had a difficult time quelling flames that ate deep into the roof. It took about two hours before the blaze was deemed under control, he said.

“We spent quite a bit of time trying to extinguish the roof,” Wilcox said. “They had done some work years ago on the roof and there was actually an old roof under the new roof. Flames just got in between the two roofs.”

The chief said firefighters were unable to get to the family dog in time. He did not have the name of the family who lived there or how many people resided at the house.

The structure was deemed a total loss, Wilcox said.