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Trailer park fire ruled suspicious

May 31, 2012

LAKE PLACID - State police believe an accelerant was used to start a fire that damaged a mobile home here early Saturday morning.

"Just talking to some of the fire people, from their investigation, they didn't see anything electrical or mechanical," state police Investigator Steve Ansari said Tuesday morning. "They said it looked like it was started by an accelerant."

The Lake Placid Volunteer Fire Department responded at 5:10 a.m. Saturday to 54 Edgewood Way in the Cascade Acres trailer park. Head Fire Driver Brad Jaques said the blaze was reported by the mobile home's owner, one of three people who were inside it when the fire broke out. They all got out safely, he said.

Emergency personnel found the exterior of the mobile home on fire when they arrived.

"The homeowner started ripping some of the vinyl away, and as we started pulling the siding off, there was smoke and flames," Jaques said.

The roughly 20 firefighters who responded were able to extinguish the blaze quickly. Fire damage was contained to the outside of the trailer, although there was smoke damage inside.

"It's livable," Jaques said. "It did some damage to the vinyl skirting, and it had gotten underneath the siding and burned some of the wood part of the structure."

Firefighters were on the scene for about five hours Saturday before returning to their station.

The blaze was deemed suspicious, and the scene was turned over to state police for an investigation.

"All the common sources of fire were ruled out," Jaques said. "It was definitely suspicious."

"We're still in the initial stages of it; we're still gathering information," Ansari said of the investigation. "We don't have anyone who has witnessed anything, so we have nothing right now. No leads."

Anyone who may have witnessed any suspicious activity in the area is asked to contact state police in Ray Brook at 518-897-2000.

Steve Curry, who manages the trailer park, said he wasn't able to give the name of the mobile home's owner. Curry also said he was out of town this weekend and didn't see the fire.

He said the New Hampshire company that owns Cascade Acres, MH Communities, is offering a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever is responsible for setting the blaze. The amount of the reward is up to the discretion of the company, Curry said.

"It's concerning," he said. "We will not tolerate it. We're looking to clean the park up and remove that element. We're certainly looking into this, and we'll do everything we can to take care of things."



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