UPPER JAY - Fire destroyed a seasonal home on Bartlett Road early Saturday morning, Dec. 7.
A neighbor who lived about a quarter-mile away woke up and saw the flames at 895 Bartlett Road through the woods, so he called it in at 3:51 a.m., Upper Jay fire Chief Jeff Straight said.
"By the time (firefighters) got there, the house was completely consumed," Essex County Emergency Services Director Don Jaquish said.
The roof had collapsed, and firefighters had to call in an excavator to put out the remains of the fire.
Upper Jay firefighters got to the scene at 4:05 a.m., and the house was down a long, narrow dirt road, so they had to call in a tanker response team that included firefighters from Jay, Keene, Keene Valley, Wilmington, AuSable Forks and Lake Placid, Straight said.
They saved a two-car garage that was about 100 feet from the residence, he said. The house is in the woods, but the property was cleared of trees about 100 feet around it, so no trees caught fire.
The property belongs to Lewis and Claire Keiffer, according to Essex County property tax records. Straight said Lewis Keiffer died recently and Claire Keiffer is in Florida for the season. He wasn't sure how long ago she left for Florida.
"That place had been shut up for winter," Straight said. "It had been winterized."
Power was on at the home, though, to keep the in-ground radiated heating system going, Straight said.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
The four-bedroom, three-bathroom house was built in 1991, according to county records.