Sunday, November 29, 2015
Amsterdam, NY ,


Joshua Thomas/For the Recorder
Flames gutted this two-story wood-frame home of town of Canajoharie resident Melvin Donato early Friday afternoon, leaving the 380 Fredericks St. resident homeless.


Malfunctioning pellet stove blamed for fire that leaves one homeless

Sunday, January 20, 2013 - Updated: 5:49 PM

By LINDA KELLETT/For the Recorder

TOWN OF CANAJOHARIE — One man is homeless after flames ravaged his two-story wood-frame home here on Friday afternoon.

Canajoharie Fire Chief Frank Nestle said Melvin Donato, the owner of the roughly 125-year-old structure at 380 Fredericks St., lost everything.

“It was a total loss,” Nestle said. “Nothing could be saved. There’s a couple of walls standing but the roof is into the first floor at this time.”

Nestle said the homeowner had no insurance.

Fortunately Donato was not home at the time. “He was at work,” said Nestle.

There were no reports of injuries.

Nestle said the cause of the 1:56 p.m. blaze has been attributed to a malfunction in the pellet stove.

“It got a head start on us,” he said, noting that by the time fire crews arrived, the front windows had blown out, and the fire was burning fiercely.

The wind was also blowing a little, which fanned the flames battled by Canajoharie, Rural Grove, Ames, Fort Plain and South Minden firefighters. Firefighters from Ephratah and Charleston Fire Departments were on standby at area stations.

Others responding to the fire scene were Mid-County Ambulance personnel, the Montgomery County Emergency Management Office and the Montgomery County Cause and Origin Team, who investigated, said Nestle.

Firefighters were at the Fredericks Street location until 8:30 or 9 p.m. Friday, primarily trying to address hot spots in areas where the structure had fallen in, he said. They were called back to the scene at around 6:10 a.m. in response to a flare-up.

Nestle said Donato declined Red Cross assistance. He is currently staying with friends.

Members of a local church reportedly want to reach out to the owner to assist him with clothing needs. Additional information about that initiative was not available at press time.


Comments made about this article - 0 Total

Comment on this article

Subscribe to The Recorder


The Recorder Sports Schedule


The Recorder Newscast

Most Popular

    6 corrections officers disciplined
    Monday, November 23, 2015

    Amsterdam brushes aside 0-3 start to make 2015 a special season
    Tuesday, November 24, 2015

    Two corrections officers arrested after internal investigation
    Tuesday, November 24, 2015

    County sheriff, jail faces another lawsuit
    Tuesday, November 24, 2015

    Mother suing Fort Plain Central School District
    Monday, November 23, 2015

    Loren F. Prime
    Tuesday, November 24, 2015

    Tonko calls for more support of the MVGO bridge
    Thursday, November 26, 2015

    Awarded bid puts F-FCS closer to turf
    Monday, November 23, 2015

    Beverly H. Birch
    Monday, November 23, 2015

    Donations stolen from holiday lights display on Lyon Street
    Wednesday, November 25, 2015


Copyright © McClary Media, Inc.

Privacy Policies: The Recorder

Contact Us