PHOTOS: Gloversville fire chief deems two fires suspicious

Crews respond to a fire on South Main Street in Gloversville February 23.

GLOVERSVILLE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Fire investigators remain on scene in Gloversville where two separate fires broke out Tuesday night.

The fires sparked around 6 p.m. Tuesday. One was on South Main Street at an old lumber yard. The other was around the corner on Harrison Street.

Gloversville Fire Chief Tom Groff said the fires were suspicious, so state fire investigators were called in to help.

Crews respond to a fire on South Main Street in Gloversville February 23.
Crews respond to a fire on South Main Street in Gloversville February 23.

David Young lives next door to the old lumber yard. He saw it all burning.

“The flames were shooting up over our roofs from the side of the house,” he said.

Young said he and his family left the house with just socks on their feet and one jacket. But the family pets remained inside.

“My neighbor went out back and tried to bust the basement door to get the dogs out,” he said.

That neighbor was Joshua Peugh. He said he felt the strength of the fire Tuesday night, and he knew the dogs needed to be saved.

“Next thing you know, I’m right in that alleyway between two houses,” he explained. “Flames are, like, literally right there. If I don’t go in there, dogs are going to die of smoke inhalation.”

Peugh showed NEWS10 how someone might have entered onto the property.

“I’m almost positive they came through the back way right behind us and just went out that back gate over there,” he said.

Neighbors said the person who owned the lumber yard stored antique cars in the building. Charred frames could be seen inside.

The Harrison Street homeowner’s daughter said the building was used as a storage facility.

Investigators believe both fires are suspicious because they were both well involved when firefighters arrived. Groff said he couldn’t determine which fire began first.

Tuesday night, their main goal was to keep the fire from spreading.

“They did an incredible job as close as we were to this house,” Young said. “They were able to save this house.”

Now investigators are trying to find the person who put many neighbors in harm’s way.

“Arsonists have several different reasons why they start fires,” Groff said. “Whether its satisfaction or they want to be heroes.”

There have been no other suspicious fires in the area. K9s will go around the premises to look for a possible accelerant, and investigators will take aerial photos.

The debris has caused some concern, but the chief said it will be taken care of after investigators have everything they need.

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