Vermontville fire ruled accidental

VERMONTVILLE – A fire that damaged the basement of a home on Cold Brook Road over the weekend has been ruled accidental.

Bloomingdale Fire Chief Tim Woodruff said a malfunction with a propane hot water heater triggered the fire at Mike Stender’s home early Sunday afternoon. That was the determination made by the Franklin County Cause and Origin Team, he said.

Woodruff said there was moderate fire damage in the basement of the two-story home, with smoke damage in the basement and on the first floor. He said water that came from broken water pipes helped to put out the fire and save the home.

No one was home at the time of the fire, which was reported by a passerby around 1:30 p.m. In addition to Bloomingdale, the Saranac Lake, Paul Smiths-Gabriels and Lake Placid volunteer fire departments also responded to the blaze.