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The Times
  • Fincks Basin Road home lost to fire

  • Strong winds and a lack of water made for difficult fire fighting as a home burned to the ground on Fincks Basin Road on Monday.

    The Little Falls Fire Department received a call at 9:50 a.m. there was a fire spotted at 219 Fincks Basin Rd. in the town of Danube.

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  • Strong winds and a lack of water made for difficult fire fighting as a home burned to the ground on Fincks Basin Road on Monday.
    The Little Falls Fire Department received a call at 9:50 a.m. there was a fire spotted at 219 Fincks Basin Rd. in the town of Danube.
    Fire Chief Robert Parese said there was “fire everywhere” when firefighters arrived at the scene.
    “When we went through the front door, we weren’t able to go five feet and it pushed us back out,” he said.
    It took a couple of hours to get the blaze under control, but firefighters were at the scene for most of the day. While the home was a total loss, a garage in the back was spared from the fire.
    Flames seemed to re-ignite as winds blew through the area. Parese described the wind as “ferocious” during a press conference at the scene Monday morning.
    “There was a lot of smoke and debris. It was a wind-driven fire, it was like a tornado,” said Parese.
    No cause has yet been determined for the blaze and firefighters are continuing their investigation.
    No one was home at the time of the fire and no injuries were reported.
    Several fire departments were called to the scene to assist.
    Nearly two hours after the firefighters arrived at the scene, flames could still be seen coming from the structure. Parts of the home could be seen collapsing as firefighters fought the fire.
    The vicinity grew heavy with smoke, including thick, black smoke which billowed high into the air and rolled down into a neighboring valley. Smoke could also be spotted from the Thruway nearby.
    Besides the wind, Parese said the lack of water hindered firefighters’ efforts.
    Tankers needed to go to the Little Falls Fire Station or to another location within the city to refill with water to bring to the scene about five miles away, he said.
    According to www.weather.com, temperatures in Little Falls were in the 20s on Monday, but could feel as cold as 8 degrees. It also reported a westerly wind blew at 12 mph, with gusts up to 20 mph.
    Fire officials did not release the name of the family that resided at the home. According to a white pages search, Robert and Robin Sitterly are listed as residents at the address.
    Departments assisting at the scene Monday included Dolgeville, East Herkimer, Fort Plain, Middleville, Mohawk, Salisbury and St. Johnsville.
    The Herkimer Fire Department was on standby for the Little Falls Fire Department.
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