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Three departments battle trailer fire in Brier Hill, home a total loss

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MORRISTOWN — Members of three volunteer fire departments battled a trailer fire at 2857 Route 37 in Wednesday morning’s subzero temperatures.

The fire was reported by a passerby shortly before 10:30 a.m. just outside the hamlet of Brier Hill. The trailer was occupied by Teresa Morrow, who had been renting it from Rocco Perretta of Morristown. Ms. Morrow was not home at the time of the fire, which is believed to have been started by a space heater that had been knocked over.

The St. Lawrence County Fire Investigation Team is expected to make a final determination on the cause of the blaze.

Brier Hill Fire Chief Shawn R. Macaulay said a dog and a cat perished in the fire.

The trailer was a total loss. Ms. Morrow had renters insurance, Mr. Macaulay said, but lost all her possessions. He said his department contacted the American Red Cross, and Ms. Morrow had arranged to stay with family.

Members of the Brier Hill, Hammond and Morristown fire departments battled the blaze for about four hours. Shortly after 1 p.m. the fire briefly rekindled, Mr. Macaulay said, but it was quickly extinguished.

“We had about 50 people there, which is a good response,” he said. “It was a good job by everybody.”

Departments from Heuvelton and Redwood were on stand-by.

The Brier Hill and Morristown departments’ ladies auxiliaries were also on hand to provide coffee and food to firefighters.

Mr. Macaulay said despite temperatures that hovered around -15 degrees, the cold posed no problems battling the blaze. Heated pumps kept the water flowing.

“We’re set up for the cold,” he said.

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