WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - A fire that heavily damaged a Watertown home late Friday afternoon began in a front room, according to Watertown fire chief Dale Herman.
Flames broke out at 399 Ten Eyck Street, a home on the corner of Ten Eyck and Dimmick streets around 5 PM. Firefighters said they could see the smoke from their station.
“Crews initially got a report of a house next to a home with a large amount of black smoke coming out of it. When our crews left the station, they were able to see what we call a header in the sky, a large column of black smoke,” said Chief Herman.
The smell of smoke covered part of the city, reaching as far as downtown.
City records showed that it is owned by Richard Donoghue of Dexter. Officials confirmed Donoghue is a retired deputy chief from the city fire department. His granddaughter Molly was living in the house, but was at work when the fire started. She said Friday that houses can be replaced, she’s just thankful nobody got hurt.
The Watertown Fire Department called in extra firefighters to battle the blaze. Fort Drum firefighters were also on the scene. They were met with a challenge when a live power line was discovered.
“We also had an issue with a live power line down on what we would call side D of the building, so that kinda hampered any efforts on that side of the building,” said Herman.
Traffic was blocked off in the streets around the fire.
By 6 PM, 7 News reporter Emily Griffin said, the fire was under control. She said the home appeared to be a total loss.
There was no one home when the fire broke out, officials said. Neighbors called in the fire to authorities. Initially, a dog was believed to be inside the house, but people in the neighborhood said they saw the dog running outside.
“I looked over and I saw the fire coming up by the window sill of the big bay window, there’s three bay windows in the living room, and when I did, I heard this crackle, crackle, and I looked over, and I looked again, and all of a sudden I heard this big boom and it blew all the windows out,” said neighbor Eleanor Love Ebbighausen.
Crews were able to extinguish the flames, but while it hasn’t been confirmed by officials, neighbors suspect it’s a total loss.
The cause of the fire is still unknown.