FORT DRUM, NY — Fort Drum Fire and Emergency Services personnel responded to a structure fire at approximately 9:10 a.m. today in the Monument Ridge housing area on post, with mutual aid support provided by Black River, Calcium, Evans Mills, Carthage and Watertown fire departments.
Fort Drum Fire Chief Jason Brunet said that Fort Drum firefighters were arriving at the scene when they reported smoke and fire from the second floor of a two-story wood frame duplex. Mutual aid was requested for a Rapid Intervention Team from City of Watertown Fire Department and an aerial device from Black River Volunteer Fire Department.
Additional mutual aid support was requested to maintain readiness at the three fire stations on post while Fort Drum firefighters were extinguishing the fire.
“Coincidentally, we just recently renewed our mutual aid agreements with the tri-county region,” Brunet said. “We rely a lot on our mutual aid partners, and that was absolutely the case today. When I arrived on scene this morning to establish the command post, both the Black River and City of Watertown fire departments were already there. That’s how fast the response was, and we couldn’t have gotten better support.”
The cause of the fire is still being determined at this time. Brunet said that the second floor of the home has extensive fire damage, and the adjoining home had minor smoke and water damage.
Dean Harrison, Mountain Community Homes project director, said the families have been temporarily relocated to Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation cabins at Remington Park. He said, in the meantime, Mountain Community Homes staff is working with the families to permanently relocate them to other homes on post.
“We at Fort Drum Mountain Community Homes are relieved to know the families are safe,” Harrison said. “We thank the brave firefighters from Fort Drum and our community partners for their rapid response and dedication to keeping our communities safe.”
Col. James Zacchino Jr., Fort Drum garrison commander, commended the team effort involved to support the families.
“We are so grateful for the speedy response and professionalism of our firefighters – both here at Fort Drum and in the surrounding communities,” he said. “We can never say enough about how they keep our communities safe. At the same time, we thank all the agencies and organizations who are helping to take care of the families at this time and giving them the comfort and support they need.”