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Canton fire damages home, ties up village traffic

TIMES STAFF WRITER
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CANTON — A fire extensively damaged a Gouverneur Street home Wednesday morning, causing morning traffic to be snarled.


More than 70 firefighters responded about 2:20 a.m. to 3-5 Gouverneur St., owned by Harriet S. Johnson, Babylon, after a blaze started in the back of the unoccupied duplex, said W. Joseph Lacks, St. Lawrence County fire investigator. The cause of the fire is under investigation.


The home has been vacant for several years and reportedly had no power to it, fire officials said. A passing motorist spotted smoke and called 911.


No injuries were reported.


Traffic was backed up significantly about 7:30 a.m. on Main Street and on routes 11 and 68 heading into the village. Village police were directing traffic at several intersections. Traffic was being diverted to Commerce Lane to get around the fire scene. Gouverneur Street was reopened to traffic about 8:20 a.m.


The home rekindled twice Wednesday, about 10:40 a.m. and about 4 p.m., sending Canton firefighters back out in frigid weather, emergency dispatchers said.


Village Mayor Charlotte C. Ramsay said Wednesday that a few months ago, village code enforcement officers deemed 5 Gouverneur St., an addition to 3 Gouverneur St., unsafe and wanted to demolish it. The building at 3 Gouverneur St. was in sound condition.


In a separate incident, Norfolk firefighters responded about 8:45 a.m. to 260 Marsh Road to battle a garage fire, emergency dispatchers said. The fire was knocked down about 45 minutes later.


The property is owned by Christopher A. and Tania Martin, according to county property records.

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