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Cause of Coxsackie home fire remains under investigation

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    Flames burst through the roof of Janet Peabody’s home on Route 9W in Coxsackie.
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    Firefighters on the scene of a fire on Route 9W in Coxsackie.
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    Smoke billows out of a home on Route 9W in Coxsackie as firefighters control the flames.
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    Firefighters on the scene of a fire in Coxsackie on Monday night.
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    A pool of water available at the scene of a house fire on Route 9W in Coxsackie.
October 2, 2018 05:26 pm Updated: October 3, 2018 12:48 pm


COXSACKIE — A family escaped a Coxsackie home destroyed by fire Monday evening, but the cause remains unknown, fire officials said.

Emergency personnel responded to 10287 Route 9W at 5:19 p.m. Monday, five minutes after it was dispatched at 5:14, Coxsackie Fire Chief Shawn Burdick said Tuesday.

“It’s a pretty quick time for being at the [Coxsackie-Athens] town line,” Burdick said. “It’s a long distance.”

Janet Peabody, her husband Jeff, her mother-in-law Erin and the couple’s six children and seven dogs escaped the blaze uninjured, Janet Peabody said Tuesday.

“We’re all OK,” she said.

A firefighter suffered a minor injury when a nail pierced his hand, Burdick said.

Peabody’s son noticed smoke coming out of the vents and he informed his family of the fire, Janet Peabody said, adding she doesn’t know how the fire started.

The fire is not thought to be suspicious and the cause remains under investigation, Burdick said.

Firefighters extinguished the blaze after an hour and a half. The Greene County Fire Investigation Team arrived on the scene Monday night to investigate, Burdick said.

Route 9W was closed for several hours Monday from the intersection of Schoharie Turnpike in Athens to Coxsackie, and reopened late last night, Burdick said.

Overhauling, or opening the ceilings and voids for fire extension, was performed on the home until about midnight Tuesday, Burdick said.

“We stood by with lights and water for the investigation team,” he said.

Numerous fire companies including Coxsackie Hose Company and Coxsackie Village, Cairo, Catskill, Athens, West Athens-Limestreet, Leeds, New Baltimore, Kiskatom, Hudson and Greenpont fire departments responded and brought tankers filled with water to assist in extinguishing the blaze, Burdick said at the scene.

“There’s no water supply out here,” the chief said. “We use tankers to shuttle the water in.”

The Ravena and Greenville fire departments were placed on stand-by, Burdick said.

The American Red Cross was called to assist the family, Burdick said.

Peabody was criticized on social media when she questioned why it took firefighters a long time to respond to the scene, but she was unaware there were no fire hydrants near her home. She plans to install a fire hydrant on her property when she rebuilds.

“We all say something that we don’t mean in the heat of the moment,” Peabody said. “I was confused when it took a little bit for the trucks to get there.”

Peabody posted an apology to the fire crews on her personal Facebook page Monday but she has continued to receive critical comments from residents, she said.

“Some understand that it was the heat of the moment,” she said of her previous post.

Burdick declined to comment on Peabody’s post.

The fire companies gave Peabody’s family food, clothes and blankets for which she is grateful, she said.

“When they got there, they did try to do their best,” Peabody said. “That’s the first time I’ve seen people come together.”

The roof of the home collapsed and the home, deemed a total loss, will need to be rebuilt, Peabody said.

“Everything we owned and worked for was in there,” Peabody said. “We’re still trying to figure it out.”

To reach reporter Daniel Zuckerman email or follow him on Twitter @DZuckerman_CGM.





Dan's lead gets it right "Cause of Coxsackie Fire Remains Unknown"
The Headline begs for the preposition: "Under" as "Investigations" don't cause fires.