QUEENSBURY — Fire ripped through a home on Orchard Drive in Queensbury Friday evening, claiming the lives of two family dogs, according to a neighbor who was on the scene.

Flames quickly engulfed the nearly 4,000 square foot home at 25 Orchard Drive just off Country Club Road. A neighbor, who lives across the street and is caring for the family’s cat, said that when she arrived at her home across the street at 5:20 p.m. there was a lot of smoke and the home was fully engulfed. At the time, there was one fire truck and a police officer on scene, she said.

In less than an hour, flames had severely damaged much of the home, burning through the rear portion of the structure and eating through most of the left rear roof and melting materials into dangling strips over the front porch.

Onlookers said the family was home at the time of the blaze and is owned by Kent and Cheryl Smith, the owners of Midas Muffler in Queensbury.

As firefighters from South Queensbury Fire and Rescue, Bay Ridge Volunteer Fire, Queensbury Central Volunteer Fire Company and West Glens Falls Fire Company battled the blaze that was still smoldering at 7 p.m., neighbors and rescue vehicles filled the cul-de-sac lined by large, high-end homes.

Because the heat from the flames was so intense, some fire fighters were pouring bottles of water over their heads, while others removed the front entrance to the home to continue knocking down the fire.

The flames did not reach other properties on the street and the landscaping at 25 Orchard Drive remained in-tact with rose and lilac flowers dotting the lawn alongside manicured shrubs and trees.

According to a neighbor who did not want to be identified, another family dog was rescued and was staying with another neighbor.

“She (the owner) had just gotten home and was in the shower when the fire started,” the neighbor said. “She ran out in a robe and went back in for clothing. It all happened really fast.”

Firefighters were still on the scene Friday night and were not yet available for comment.

Kathleen Phalen-Tomaselli is a features writer at The Post-Star. She can be reached at kphalen-tomaselli@poststar.com for comments or story ideas. 


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