OGDENSBURG, N.Y. (WWNY) - Firefighters, nursing home workers, families and even perfect strangers come to the rescue. That was what happened at Riverledge nursing home in Ogdensburg on Sunday.
It could have been worse. All the elements were there. Flames erupting across the face of a garage that also houses a laundry. Wind gusts blowing it toward where nursing home patients live.
“This definitely had the potential to be a disastrous situation...It was a great team effort by everyone involved,” said
Jay Moore, Morristown Volunteer Fire & Rescue chief.
Moore credits a quick response by Ogdensburg firefighters with keeping it from spreading. Morristown arrived shortly after and then Heuvelton was called for.
“There was a lot of heat with that fire. And with the 20 to 40 mile per hour winds we were fighting, it didn’t help matters,” said Moore.
Siding began to melt on a nearby wing. An evacuation order was given. Residents were taken out a door wrapped in blankets. Off-duty nursing home workers and family members rushed there with more blankets.
“Even heard stories of folks that pulled over on the side of the road that just wanted to offer assistance. The response was just amazing,” said Timothy Parsons, Riverledge administrator.
Parsons said residents were only outside a short time when told they could come back in.
It’s not like the community stopped helping once the flames were put out. For now, St. Joseph’s home across town is pitching in to do the laundry for Riverledge.
Moore said the cause of the fire remains under investigation. The New York State Department of Health is also involved in investigating along with United Helpers.