OSWEGATCHIE – The major fire at the Stone Fence Motel was largely contained just hours after a boiler reportedly exploded Monday night, according to Morristown Fire Chief Kevin Crosby.
Morristown and Ogdensburg firefighters arrived on the scene at 7191 State Highway 37 around 9:30 p.m. and encountered heavy smoke coming from the front of the building.
Ogdensburg fire units stretched attack lines through the front of the building while Morristown firefighters sent lines into the basement and in the back of the building, Crosby said.
Firefighters say they were met with heavy fire and smoke in the basement and first floors of the multi-unit motel and restaurant.
There was moderate fire damage to four rooms located in the middle of the unit and smoke damaged several other nearby rooms, Crosby said.
“It certainly could have been worse,” Crosby said.
There is a lot of damage but the building is in good condition with the exception of the four rooms and the basement, fire officials said.
“These firefighters did an awesome job…I can’t say enough about them,” he added.
Firefighters reportedly battled the blaze for hours to be sure all of the hot spots were out.
The fire is currently under investigation by the St. Lawrence County Cause and Origin Team, according to Crosby.
Ogdensburg and Morristown firefighters were assisted on scene by Ogdensburg rescue and fire departments from Brier Hill, Heuvelton, Lisbon and Rensselaer Falls.
Officials from National Grid, St. Lawrence Gas, state Department of Transportation, the Town of Oswegatchie and Ogdensburg police were also on scene, Crosby said.
The Morristown Fire Department was back in service at 1:31 a.m. this morning.