NATURAL BRIDGE — A home in the town of Diana was destroyed in a Sunday evening blaze.

According to Second Assistant Fire Chief Ronald Ward of the Natural Bridge Volunteer Fire Department, the garage built about six inches from the single story home at 6337 Old State Road just outside of Natural Bridge was fully engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived minutes after the call came through at about 5:30 p.m.

“We tried to knock it down in the garage to keep it from spreading to the house, but it wasn’t possible with the size of the fire and the distance to the house,” Mr. Ward said, but the blown-in insulation in the attic of the home had already sparked and moved flames from one end of the structure to the other.

Mr. Ward said a 15- to 20-minute delay in the arrival of some of the departments that were mistakenly sent to Old State Road in another town “didn’t work in favor of the homeowner,” and fire crews were hampered by gusty winds, icy conditions and single-digit temperatures.

Backup provided by six area departments, including a number of certified interior firefighters and additional water supplies, was crucial to the effort, according to the assistant chief.

“When we pulled up on scene, we had 4,000 gallons of water,” Mr. Ward said. “And the volume of fire just laughed at it.”

The last firefighters left the scene just before 11 p.m., “when we saw steam” and thermal imaging checks for hot spots verified the fire was completely out and there have been no calls about flare-ups.

Homeowner Cameron Arnold was in the residence with two friends when the fire broke out and told firefighters that the circuit breakers had tripped a few times and been reset before the group smelled something and got out, Mr. Ward said.

The Lewis County Fire Report listed the cause of the fire as electrical and noted that there was no insurance on the home.

One firefighter was treated at Carthage Area Hospital and released after having chest pains during the intensive work.

Assistance was provided by the Harrisville, Deferiet, Carthage, Croghan and West Carthage volunteer fire departments, Carthage Area Rescue Squad and Natural Bridge Ambulance.

The Central & Northern New York Chapter of the American Red Cross provided assistance to Mr. Arnold.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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