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Democrat Photo by Jeanne Sager

FIREFIGHTERS FROM SEVERAL departments battle a blaze on Route 52A in Kenoza Lake.

Old Body Shop, Chicken Coop Burns to Ground in Kenoza Lake

By Jeanne Sager
KENOZA LAKE —March 04, 2003– One of the remnants of Sullivan County’s farming foundation is gone.
Firefighters from Kenoza Lake, Jeffersonville, Callicoon, Hortonville and Lake Huntington battled four hours Friday afternoon to save a three-story barn behind the home of E. Pointer in Kenoza Lake.
According to Deputy Fire Coordinator Joe Mellan, the call went out around 3 p.m. that the barn on Route 52A was in flames.
When Kenoza Lake arrived on the scene, the fire was already “working” on the structure.
“They tried to make an offensive attack,” Mellan said, “But then the roof collapsed, so we had to back off to the defensive.”
No one was hurt in the collapse, but the building was rendered unusable. Firefighters later called upon Hughson Excavating of Jeffersonville to knock down another wall of building so they could get water inside to fight the fire.
The structure was once part of Byrd Long’s chicken farm and was later used by Long’s son, Paul as a body shop. But the shop closed more than 30 years ago – Paul Long has moved away from the area – and the barn has been vacant for as long as many residents can remember.
Fire investigators were on the scene Friday, but the exact cause of the incident is still being studied.
The Sullivan County Sheriff’s Department and Fire Police were called in to direct traffic, shutting off Route 52 in Hortonville and Route 52A at the bottom of Gabel Road, as well as rerouting cars at the top of Geib’s Hill (the Route 17B hill) in Fosterdale.
Jeffersonville First Aid Squad was also on the scene, and North Branch and Youngsville fire departments remained on standby.
The lack of wind Friday afternoon and the slightly warmer temperatures worked with the firefighters who pumped from the nearby Callicoon Creek to battle the blaze.

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