GROTON – Courtney Roher watched from the side of the road this morning as smoke belched from the roof of her childhood home and firefighters from several departments worked to get the fire under control.
“My dad has owned the place since he was 19 – around 50 years,” she said.
It was around 8 a.m. when neighbor Tom Darling and his brother George Darling saw smoke coming from the 603 Davis Road home – just outside the Cortland County line.
“George dialed 911 right away,” Tom Darling said.
He watched from the side of the road as the flames took over the home of a neighbor he had known for 50 years and worked with at Smith Corona before it shut down.
McLean firefighters responded about 8:05 a.m. to the house, which was engulfed in flames, said McLean Fire Chief Kenny Carr. The fire started on the first floor of the single-family home, but quickly spread.
Homeowners Dianne and Ezra Roher weren’t home when the fire broke out, but their cat, Boots, was rescued from the house, given oxygen and taken to Cornell Companion Animal Hospital. Details on his condition were unavailable.
Firefighters used various tools, including a saw, to cut into the roof of the house and broke windows to put out the flames. Groton, Dryden, Freeville, Lansing, Homer and Cortlandville fire departments were all called in to help. Firefighters were able to get the flames under control by about 8:45 a.m.
The cause is still under investigation by New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control, Carr said.