PIERREPONT — A Sunday night fire has left family and neighbors grieving the loss of two people in St. Lawrence County.
Eight people were inside the home, 4545 County Route 24, at the time of the fire, according to state police. When state police and fire crews arrived on scene shortly after 10:30 p.m., the home was completely involved, with two adults and four children having escaped the blaze.
Ricky A. Gollinger, 64, and Lena A. Gollinger, 62, were reportedly trapped inside the burning home and rescued from the collapsing structure. The couple was first taken to Canton-Potsdam Hospital, then to Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, where they died Monday morning. They were in critical condition due to burns prior to their deaths.
Pierrepont Volunteer Fire Department Chief Peter J. Hoyt, who was on scene Sunday night, said a St. Lawrence County sheriff’s deputy was treated for smoke inhalation. No other injuries to residents or crew members were reported.
St. Lawrence County Emergency Services reports the call for the fire came in at 10:36 p.m., and Chief Hoyt said flames were knocked down in about three hours. Crews from Pierrepont, Russell, Pyrites, Canton, Colton and Hannawa Falls assisted into early Monday morning.
The home is now mostly charred, and the back of the house has collapsed. A detached garage was not impacted.
A December 2019 fire at a residence on Post Road displaced four people, and a Plains Road home was destroyed by fire in 2017. But Chief Hoyt, who has headed Pierrepont Fire for the last three years, said he does not recall responding to another loss-of-life fire in his time with the department.
“There’s a large family up in that area,” Chief Hoyt said of the Gollingers, adding that friends and neighbors have been assisting. “It’s quite a nice community.”
State police and fire investigators were on scene Monday morning and into the afternoon, Chief Hoyt said.
No foul play is suspected, according to state police.