Nightmare on Elm St.

Fire destroys structure in Saratoga on Halloween


Keith McLendon

Connie McGuire watches in horror as her rental property on 3rd and Elm St. burns Monday night.

Saratoga's Halloween Trick-or-Treating was interrupted by a fire that sent the Saratoga Volunteer Fire Department scrambling to extinguish a blaze at the corner of Elm and Third streets on Monday.

The fire started at approximately 4:45 p.m., during the peak of the town's trick-or-treating, sending plumes of smoke rolling through the downtown area. Firefighters, many of whom were downtown already for trick-or-treating, responded to the blaze quickly, but the structure-a large wooden shed-was already engulfed in flames.

Around 7 p.m., firefighters said over the radio that the blaze was out, but requested machinery from the town to come and knock down the burnt-out structure so it would not collapse and injure anyone nearby.

By 7:20, a backhoe came and knocked down the structure.

The property owner, Connie McGuire, said the cause of the fire is under investigation, and there are no clues at present as to what started the fire.

McGuire said neighbors told her after the fire that they heard a "popping" sound inside the large wooden shed before the fire became apparent.

The property was a rental, McGuire said, and she estimated the shed was about 100 years old. The shed was not insured, according to McGuire.

"It's not a huge loss for me," she said. "It should have been torn down years ago."

Another structure, a smaller white wooden shed, was also destroyed in the fire, but McGuire said that structure belonged to the property tenant and is their loss. The renters, McGuire said, were not permitted to use the large wooden shed.

McGuire said she had not yet been able to contact the tenants since the fire.

Keith McLendon

Fire finally engulfs a nearby storage structure Monday. Fortunately, firefighters kept the damage localized to these two structures, a tree and some fencing.


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