WEST CARTHAGE — A house built in 1880 is now saturated with ash and water after the second floor caught on fire late Friday.

Amy B. Gruner, owner of the house at 39 Champion St., was told over the phone at around 10 p.m. that the house was on fire. She has rented the house to a couple for nearly a year. The man was on a walk with their two dogs while the woman was at work when what appears to be a fan in the second-floor bathroom caught on fire. A neighbor, she said, saw flames spraying from the windows and dialed 911.

Ms. Gruner said she’s from Carthage but lives around an hour away and made the late-night trip. When she got there first responders were there making a quick hit on the flames.

“There were five or six agencies here and they were on it,” Ms. Gruner said. “I was very impressed with everyone involved.”

She stayed at the scene until around 1:45 a.m. and responders were still there working the scene, she said.

As of Saturday afternoon, water was still draining from the ceiling to the first floor. Ash and soot covered most hallways, beds and the bathroom on the second floor, but the structure is still solid, she said. No one was injured.

“That’s what we were thankful for,” she said, “that there was nobody trapped inside. They could have been sleeping.”

Ms. Gruner is in the process of meeting with adjustors and attempting to find a contractor to fix sections of the house. Those are hard to come by after contractors were out of work for months and got back-logged with jobs.

As she stood in the hallway on the second floor, assessing the damage, she said it’ll be salvageable.

According to dispatch logs, fire departments on the scene or covering other agencies were from Carthage, Great Bend, Natural Bridge, Rutland, West Carthage, Black River and Fort Drum. Also responding were Black River Ambulance, Carthage Ambulance and a Jefferson County fire investigator.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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