BLACK BROOK — Tim Parsons was relaxing in his pool Sunday afternoon when he heard the smoke detector going off inside his Ore Bed Road home.
Upon entering, Parsons found the house rapidly filling with smoke and had just enough time to rescue his three cats and make sure his two dogs were safe outside before calling 911.
The rest of Parsons’ family of four was in Lake Placid enjoying a day on Mirror Lake when the fire broke out. They arrived home in time to see smoke still billowing from their home while firefighters mopped up occasional flare-ups.
Saranac, Peru, Dannemora, AuSable and South Plattsburgh fire departments arrived to fight the fire, with four other departments, Morrisonville, Cadyville, District 3 and Willsboro, called in for stand-by.
The house was a total loss. No other structures were damaged by the fire.
The fire is believed to have originated in the laundry room, where Parsons had a load of laundry going at the time.
Later, a firefighter carried out a laundry basket filled with all that could be salvaged from the remnants of the house - some clothes and three framed family photographs.
The family wiped back tears as they combed through their few remaining possessions.
“We have plenty of family who can help us out,” Parsons said stoically as he surveyed the damage from across the road.
The fire, called in at 4:30 p.m., was mostly out by 6 p.m. The last department was back in service by 7:36 p.m.