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Fire destroys Lake Placid businesses - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Fire destroys Lake Placid businesses

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LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -

Twelve hours after a massive fire ripped through four businesses on Station Street in Lake Placid, firefighters were still putting out hot spots.

"It was just shock, there were firefighters from all over the Adirondacks here," said Joe Moore, the owner of Placid Boatworks. Shortly after midnight, his custom canoe business -- along with a bakery, taxi company and an office for a local fuel-dealer --caught fire.

"The taxi company came in and saw smoke and called it in and by the time we got here it was already through the roof," said Lake Placid Asst. Fire Chief Tracy LaHart.

Not only did firefighters have to battle a raging fire, but also had to deal with bitterly cold temperatures. The low last night in Lake Placid was around 15 degrees below zero.

"We had companies come in, we were switching them out at the station. I would have guys here and guys there and every hour I would switch them out," LaHart said.

About 100 firefighters battled the blaze that took close to four hours to bring under control.

"Given the circumstances and the conditions, what a dedicated bunch of guys. It's just incredible," Joe Moore said.

Investigators believe the blaze started in the Boatworks part of the building in a workshop where tools and chemicals were stored, but they are not sure if they will ever be able to determine the exact cause. "Tremendous amount of ice buildup on the building, in the building. The roof has collapsed, so it's going to be a tough thing to do," said Don Jaquish with Essex County Emergency Services.

Moore says the owner of Spencer Boatworks in Saranac Lake -- which just reopened after it burned down two years ago -- has offered him space to help keep his business going. "It's hard to tell what we are going to do next, but I would like to rebuild," he said.

While four businesses may have been ruined, everyone is quick to point out that fortunately nobody was injured.

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