Fire guts home in Malta

Posted at: 06/18/2014 1:32 PM
Updated at: 06/18/2014 5:57 PM
By: Mark Mulholland

Crews survey the fire damage to a home on East Line Road.
Crews survey the fire damage to a home on East Line Road.
Photo: Mark Mulholland / WNYT

Photo: Mark Mulholland / WNYT

Photo: Mark Mulholland / WNYT

MALTA - The call came in at around 12:15 Wednesday afternoon for a structure fire on East Line Road in the Town of Malta.

Malta Ridge Assistant Chief George Downs was the first to get there.

"I knew I had a fire when I hit 67, had heavy smoke showing from 67 and I arrived and I saw fire venting through the downstairs porch area," said Downs.

Downs says it was difficult to get inside the home at 424 East Line, because the homeowner is an antique dealer and an entryway was partially blocked.

"Once we got through the front door, we had bookcase upon book case. We had some aerobic machines right there so we had to get through that to get into that door itself."

The homeowner, Douglas Rock, was playing music at a funeral with his son when they got the call that their home was on fire.

They rushed home to find it almost completely destroyed.

The homeowner was too upset to talk to NewsChannel 13 on camera, but he shared with a reporter the heartbreaking story of how he lost his wife 15 years ago and that all the memories of her---the videotapes and photographs---were inside the house and presumably lost."

Firefighters say some of the contents appear salvageable. Others were ruined.

"What's not destroyed by fire is is either destroyed by heat and/or water," said Downs.

Investigators hadn't identified a cause as of Wednesday evening, but they say the fire is not considered suspicious.