WATERTOWN — The smell of smoke still lingered in the air outside two Jefferson County homes Monday afternoon, a little more than 24 hours after both went up in flames Saturday.
Eight fire departments from around the county were called to a fire at 9:31 p.m. Saturday at 20897 Cagwin Road in the town of Watertown where they encountered a house with flames peeking through the roof.
Firefighters remained on scene for nearly five hours, until about 2:10 a.m. Sunday, according to reports from the Jefferson County Office of Fire and Emergency Management.
Jeff VanBrocklin, assistant fire chief for the town of Watertown, said the living quarters, near the kitchen, is where the fire originated. Those parts of the home are a total loss, he added. “The rest of the house has heat, smoke and water damage.”
A family of six lived at the house, two adults and four children, but only the adult residents were at the home when the fire started. Mr. VanBrocklin said it was the homeowners who called the fire in.
As crews continued to battle the blaze on Cagwin Road, a call came in for another fire in the village of Dexter, at 11:35 p.m. The house at 315 W. Kirby St. was ablaze.
According to Ryan McIntosh, the Brownville fire chief, his team was on site within four minutes of the dispatch order.
He says that the front corner of the house appears to be the starting point for that fire, and the flames licked up outer surfaces of the residence.
“The front porch was extensively damaged, they took most of that down to prevent reignition,” Mr. McIntosh said. “They had to pull some ceilings and walls down inside — in the kitchen. There was a good amount of damage, but it was definitely not a total loss.”
There were five departments directed to the Kirby Street fire, but Mr. McIntosh said that as they were en route to the address, a call for a third fire came in, this one on Pillar Point.
“We had two active fires within eight minutes of each other,” he said.
The Pillar Point fire was a garage fire. Mr. McIntosh said the homeowner was able to keep the flames contained with a garden hose, and damage was minimal.
Firefighters remained on scene at the Kirby Street fire until 2:15 a.m. Sunday, securing the location and ensuring the house would not reignite.
All three fires remain under investigation by the Jefferson County Fire Investigation Team.