Village wants post-fire debris cleaned up

SARANAC LAKE – More than a month after a third-floor apartment burned at 7 Bloomingdale Ave. above the No. 1 Chinese Restaurant, piles of debris still sit strewn around the building.

The mess has caught the eye of village officials, who say they’ve given the building’s owner a deadline to get it cleaned up.

Speaking at Monday night’s village board meeting, Trustee Allie Pelleteri raised concerns about the appearance of the property, which he noted is located at a busy intersection, the corner of Bloomingdale Avenue and Broadway. Property tax records say the building is owned by Li Qin Dong.

Mayor Clyde Rabideau said he shares the same concerns and has talked to village Community Development Director Jeremy Evans and Code Enforcement Officer Matt Steenberge.

“What happened is the owners did not test the material for asbestos before they started ripping and tearing,” Rabideau said. “They’ve been given notice that’s due this week to get it tested, clean it up and so on. We’re on it, because it’s an eyesore at a main intersection.”

Pelletieri said the trash should be put in a dumpster and covered until it can be tested, so at least it’s out of the public eye.

“I share your same concern, and I’ve voiced the same displeasure,” Rabideau repeated. “However, we can’t send our village employees in there because there might be asbestos in there. We can’t make them do it until we give them notice. We gave them notice, and they’re supposed to respond this week.”

Fire broke out in a third-floor apartment in the building on the morning of Feb. 1, while the residents were sleeping. Three local men noticed the smoke, rushed into the burning building and helped get all the residents out safely.

The blaze, which investigators believe was caused by an electrical problem, gutted most of the building’s third floor. There was smoke and water damage on the two floors below. The restaurant has been closed for business since the fire.

Contact Chris Knight at 891-2600 ext. 24 or