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Fire destroys Pyrites couple’s home


PYRITES — A couple stood in below-zero temperatures Friday evening, watching as their home was engulfed in smoke and flames.

Matthew N. Foote, 24, and his girlfriend, Amber L. Brown, 31, said they were trying to thaw the pipes under their trailer at 177 North Woods Road when smoke suddenly filled the home and the power went out.

“I was using a salamander forced-air heater trying to thaw the pipes, and it looked like a tire caught fire,” Mr. Foote said. “The first thing we saw was the smoke. The house just filled with smoke.”

Water tankers from multiple volunteer fire departments continued to fill a portable reservoir as Pyrites and Canton volunteer firefighters battled the stubborn blaze.

“They are going to have a hard time putting that out,” Mr. Foote said. “We have a wood stove going in there.”

Standing in the neighboring driveway of her brother, Brian Brown, Ms. Brown said the house went up in less than five minutes. As the halls filled with smoke and flames started ravaging the structure, Mossy, their 1-year-old German shepherd, ran for the door to escape.

“We had everything in there,” Ms. Brown said, shivering in the cold, holding a Styrofoam cup of coffee.

The fire started at the rear of the house, the couple said. The home, owned by Ms. Brown’s parents, was insured, she said.

She said they planned to stay with Mr. Foote’s parents while they figure out their next move.

The firefighters, who started battling the blaze about 5:30 p.m., were still at the scene at 8 p.m.

Russell, Pierrepont, Hermon, Morley and DeKalb Junction volunteer fire departments assisted.

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