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Fire destroys Lake Placid Boatworks building (UPDATED)

Building also housed Cake Placid and Rick's Taxi

January 25, 2013

LAKE PLACID - Firefighters from across the Tri-Lakes region responded to a major fire early this morning that looks to have destroyed a building that housed Placid Boatworks, Cake Placid and Rick's Taxi.

The fire at 263 Station St. was reported to the Lake Placid Volunteer Fire Department at 12:39 a.m. today by an employee of Rick's Taxi.

Joe Moore, who owns and runs the Placid Boatworks canoe-building shop, also owns the building.

Article Photos

Firefighters were still at the scene of an early-morning fire that destroyed the Lake Placid Boatworks building on Station Street. Cake Placid and Rick's Taxi were also based in this building. More details will be provided as they become available.

Photos/Richard Rosentreter/Lake Placid News

"In the early morning hours this morning, a fire broke out in our building," he wrote in a post on his business' Facebook page. "The damage appears to be total, although firefighters are still on the scene and I haven't been able to assess. The good news is no one was inside in any of the businesses in the building."

Firefighters were still on the scene this morning. A large portion of the structure's roof was caved in, windows had been knocked out, and thick sheets of ice had formed on the outside of the building. Icicles measuring more than 6 inches had also formed on nearby power lines. Lake Placid's new aerial fire truck was still pumping water on the hot spots this morning.

Essex County Emergency Services Director Don Jaquish, who had ducked into a nearby county vehicle to warm up, told the News that two investigators from the state Office of Fire Prevention and Control were on their way to the scene, but he wasn't optimistic that they would be able to uncover any clues as to what caused the fire.

"They're still dumping copious amounts of water on the building," Jaquish said. "They won't be able to get into the building for a while. There's ice building up, and the building could collapse."

Jaquish said no one was inside the building when the fire started, and no injuries had been reported as of about 8 o'clock this morning.

"We'll investigate the cause if and when we get in there," he added.

Lake Placid Fire Driver Greg Hayes said his department sent four trucks and 22 members to the scene, and the Lake Placid Volunteer Ambulance Service stood by. The Paul Smiths-Gabriels, Bloomingdale, Jay, Upper Jay, Keene, Keene Valley, Wilmington and Saranac Lake volunteer fire departments also provided manpower. Firefighters from Tupper Lake and Keeseville were called to the scene, but were turned back en route.

Temperatures were in the double digits below zero when firefighters first arrived. Hayes said that luckily, no firefighters fell victim to the bitter cold.

"Early on, we were fine, and then we had enough manpower come in from the other departments that what we would do is, as we relieved a crew, we'd shuttle them back to the firehouse to warm up and replace them with a fresh crew," he said. "And we did that all night long."

Jennifer Gates, owner of Cake Placid, posted a message on her business's Facebook page at about 6 a.m., thanking firefighters and notifying customers that she won't be able to fill orders.

"I am devastated and beyond words right now," Gates wrote.

Gates asked customers to email her at She said she will do "everything possible to find an alternate bakery to fill your order.

"I will rebuild, it will take time, but cakeplacid will be back," Gates wrote. "Thank you for your continued support."

Chris Knight contributed

to this report.



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