Area news in brief

Chief points to motorcycle repair as cause of Friday fire

Amsterdam Fire Chief Richard Liberti said two motorcycles, two jet skis, a snowblower, a car and a truck were all damaged in a Kline Street garage fire Friday evening.

The garage at 14 Kline St. burned to the ground, but no one was hurt.

Liberti confirmed this morning the cause of the fire was related to a motorcycle repair.

"I'm not sure what caused the ignition, but I believe he was working on the carburetor," Liberti said of Francisco Padilla, the father of the family that lives at the address.

"Gases spilled on the ground and after it ignited, he tried to run in and get a garden hose to put it out. By that time, the garage was already involved," Liberti said.

Liberti said the fire, which began around 8:20 p.m., quickly spread from the garage to neighboring structures including the rear of the home at 14 Kline St., the Plexiglas windows of 10 Kline St., the vinyl siding of the home at 18 Kline St., and garages at 15 and 17 Eagle St.

"It started out as a small fire," Padilla said Friday. "I ran down to the basement to grab the hose, and by the time I came up, the fire was up to the roof."

Padilla's wife and their three teenagers were in the house when the blaze started. Liberti said by the time the fire department arrived -- which was minutes later -- the family had already gotten out of the home.

Liberti said the damage to their house was only exterior, and the family was able to return inside for the night. The department had the fire extinguished by 9 p.m.

GAVAC was on the scene along with the Amsterdam fire and police departments, but did not have to treat anyone.

-- Alissa Scott

Flood watch in effect through Tuesday in Montgomery County

The National Weather Service has issued a flood watch in effect Tuesday morning through Wednesday morning for the region, including Montgomery County and northern Fulton County.

Runoff from snow melt caused by warm temperatures this past weekend has swelled many rivers in the flood watch area to three-quarters bankfull, or more, according to the service.

The snow melt will continue today and tonight, followed by heavy rainfall Tuesday, which could result in widespread minor to moderate flooding across the area.

"It's the snow in the Adirondacks that has everyone worried -- they got a ton of snow," Montgomery County Emergency Management Director Jeffery T. Smith said this morning.

However, Smith pointed out the advisory was just a watch as of this morning, and he hopes there will be no issues in the immediate area. A flood watch means there is a potential for flooding based on current forecasts.

"Of course things could change, but I've been checking graphs and I'm hopeful we will be OK," Smith said. "Right now, I'm just actively monitoring everything."

The forecast for Montgomery County says rain showers are likely after midnight tonight. Tuesday calls for periods of rain with a chance of thunderstorms. Rain may be heavy at times, with new rainfall amounts between 1 and 2 inches possible.

-- Heather Nellis