A Thursday afternoon blaze that left an Antwerp farmhouse destroyed put a fitting cap on a chaotic day filled with unpredictable snowy weather and multiple car crashes in Jefferson County.
It was the day after the first day of spring.
A driver travelling past Beartown Farms, 35813 Beartown Road around 5 p.m. Thursday noticed white smoke emanating from a house on the property adjacent to the road.
Responding to the call at 5:08 p.m., the Antwerp Fire Department found a working structure fire complicated by a metal roof, which trapped in heat.
It took firefighters approximately 20 minutes to extinguish the blaze, according to Second Assistant Chief Jonathan P. Cole.
Fortunately, the occupants were not home at the time of the fire though their house was virtually destroyed, with firefighters tossing entire doors out through holes in the roof in the aftermath.
The property was deemed a total loss. Firefighters said they were not sure whether it was insured.
Jefferson County fire investigators and the Antwerp Fire Deparment are still determining the cause of the fire but suspect that it start from a wood-stove chimney, Mr. Cole said.
Beartown Farms was established in 2004 by Eugene G. LaMothe and his family. The operation rears cattle and hair-sheep and sells grass-fed beef and lamb.
The Antwerp Fire Department was assisted at the scene by Oxbow, Evans Mills, Theresa, Gouverneur and Philadelphia Fire Departments and Indian River Ambulance Company.