INDIAN LAKE -- An elderly Pratt Road couple described as a “consummate Adirondack couple” died early Wednesday when fire tore through their home.
The fire, spotted just before 4 a.m., leveled a mobile home at 197 Pratt Road. Two bodies were recovered, and officials and relatives of the victims said they are believed to be those of Roy J. Tracey Sr. and his wife, Anna May Tracey, retirees in their 70s who lived in the home.
State Police said forensic identification procedures to formally determine the identities of the victims were ongoing later Wednesday and autopsies were planned.
Investigators from the state Office of Fire Prevention and Control and State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation were working late Wednesday to determine a cause.
Indian Lake Fire Chief Paul Strain said Wednesday afternoon that the cause was “undetermined.” Asked if it was considered suspicious, he replied “nothing has been ruled out.”
He said Indian Lake firefighters arrived to find the fire “fully involved.” The couple’s adult son, Roy Tracey Jr., had spotted the fire and attempted a rescue but was kept out of the home by intense flames, a relative said.
The road is a dead end off county Route 4 in a remote part of town with no hydrants for firefighting. The home collapsed from the damage a short while later.
The Traceys’ niece, Teri Podnorszki Gay of Charlton, said the couple was well-known and well-liked in Indian Lake, where they had lived for years after moving north from the Warrensburg area. They have family throughout the region, she said.
She described them as a “consummate” Adirondackers. She said Mr. Tracey was an avid hunter and angler and his wife often accompanied him on his outings.
“They are just the nicest, kindest, most gentle people I’ve ever known,” she said. “They were always together.”
She said they enjoyed watching movies together, and had spent Tuesday night at a relative’s home in North River trading movies before they returned home.
Both were retired, Mr. Tracey from a job working at a hunting preserve and his wife as a cook, she said.