Gloversville fire probed

GLOVERSVILLE – Authorities are investigating the cause of a fire that leveled a barn and garage on Bleecker Street and damaged neighboring structures this morning, city Fire Chief Beth Whitman-Putnam said.

The fire, which witnesses said began around 9:45 a.m., started in a barn behind 191 Bleecker St., creating a large plume of dark smoke.

Whitman-Putnam said her department was dispatched around 9:53 a.m.

“When I opened the door to the station and saw the smoke, I knew it wasn’t going to be good,” the chief said at the scene.

Whitman-Putnam said the barn at 191 Bleecker St. was destroyed along with a neighboring garage behind 195 Bleecker St.

The extent of damage to other structures still has to be determined, she said this afternoon. Firefighters were still on the scene at 4 p.m.

Whitman-Putman said no one was transported by ambulance for injuries related to the fire. However, the Ambulance Service of Fulton County was on hand into the afternoon checking firefighters who were visibly exhausted from humidity and the heat of the fire.

The owner of the barn and house at 191 Bleecker St., Everett Flint, said he wasn’t aware the barn was in flames until he heard commotion outside.

“I heard some noise and sirens, so I looked out my front window and saw the back end of the fire truck,” Flint said. “I came outside to see what was going on and a neighbor pointed to my barn, so I looked, and at that point, it was up in flames.”

He said the structure primarily was used for storage of furniture, wood, insulation and tools. Flint said he always kept the barn locked and had given no one permission to be inside it.

Flint said the barn had no electricity running to it, so he doesn’t think the cause of the fire is related to any electrical problem.

The garage of neighbor Danielle Ruby, of 195 Bleecker St., was destroyed by the fire.

She was at work at the time of the fire but rushed home after neighbors contacted her.

Ruby said the garage contained primarily tools, a snow blower and other yard equipment.

She said the Fire Department sprayed water on her house to keep the fire from spreading to the house. Some water did go inside her house, she said.

A house behind the two structures along the Rail Trail on North Arlington Avenue had visible damage from the fire. Siding melted due to the heat.

Neighbors at the fire scene took pictures and video of the flames as local fire departments tried to contain the blaze.

“It didn’t take long for it to go up at all,” Dean Fisher Sr. of Bleecker Street said at the scene.

Whitman-Putnam said the Johnstown and Amsterdam fire departments were called to the scene for the use of their ladder trucks. The Berkshire Volunteer Fire Department also was at the scene.