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The Steuben Courier Advocate
  • Wood stove blamed in Urbana fire

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  • URBANA | A faulty wood stove is being blamed for Thursday morning's fire that claimed the lives of two dogs and left a family of four temporarily homeless.
    The Hammondsport Fire Department responded to the home at 8204 Germania Road in the Town of Urbana just after 4 a.m. to find the home engulfed by flames.
    The home's owner, Gordon Burdick, discovered the blaze around 3:30 a.m. after smelling smoke in the downstairs portion of the house.
    According to Hammondsport Fire Chief Bill Fries, the cause of the blaze was a malfunction with the home's wood stove.
    After Burdick noticed the fire, he went back upstairs to wake his family. By the time the four residents attempted to leave the house through a door on the first floor, the fire had blocked their exit.
    "They couldn't get back down the stairs because there was fire on the first floor," Fries said. "So they went back up and out through the windows to the roof to get back down to the ground."
    The four family members escaped home safely, but the family's two dogs died in the blaze.
    Thursday's inclement weather was also a factor in getting the fire under control. The snow-covered roads made getting fire trucks to the scene a difficult task.
    "One of our trucks got stuck halfway up the hill," Fries said. "But we just used it in line for our relay to pump the hose."
    The home is considered a complete loss and the family is currently being assisted by the Greater Steuben Chapter of the American Red Cross.
    Hammondsport firefighters were assisted on the scene by the Bath, Pulteney and Wayne fire departments. Hammondsport Ambulance also responded to the call.

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