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Fires level Pitcairn barn, damage Canton house


Firefighters in St. Lawrence County were occupied Friday with a chimney fire that heavily damaged a Canton home, while several farm animals were killed in a Pitcairn barn fire.

Five departments responded to the barn fire just before 10 a.m. at 469 Route 3, owned by Shannon Frye, county fire investigators said. The fire killed one horse, two calves and nine chickens. A second horse suffered third-degree burns in the blaze.

"The veterinarian gave the horse a 30 percent chance of survival," fire investigator Colin R. Fraser said.

The Harrisville, Gouverneur, Edwards, Natural Bridge and Fine fire companies battled the blaze. The cause of the barn fire remains under investigation.

A motorcycle, an all-terrain vehicle and numerous hay bales were destroyed. No injuries to humans were reported. The barn was insured.

Several fire departments were called about 11:45 a.m. to a house fire at 43 State St., Canton. Flames and thick smoke, which engulfed the home, could be seen for several blocks.

James R. Santimaw, a Canton village police sergeant, was cleaning his chimney when sparks ignited a wall and the blaze quickly spread, fire investigator Olgierd J. "Augie" Weiss Jr. said. Mr. Santimaw and two children were able to escape the home.

Several streets near the fire scene, including a portion of Court Street in front of the St. Lawrence County Courthouse and Public Safety building, were closed to traffic for several hours.

Canton, Potsdam, Pierrepont, West Potsdam and Rensselaer Falls firefighters were able to knock down the blaze. The house was insured.

A Canton firefighter was taken to Canton-Potsdam Hospital, Potsdam, with a minor injury, Canton Fire Chief Michael E. Dalton said.

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