Holiday decorations and promotional supplies for the Pamelia Fire Department were damaged or ruined Sunday night in a fire at the departments former fire hall on County Route 16.
The fire destroyed a set of picnic benches and damaged a portable sign and a collection of handmade wooden reindeer used for holiday parades.
Several departments responded about 7:30 p.m., shortly after the fire was reported by a motorist. Firefighters put the blaze out by 8 p.m. Nobody was in the building at the time, and no one was injured.
Much of the damage was to the right rear portion of the building, with the fire piercing a hole in the exterior. The cause was under investigation; Pamelia Fire Chief Harry E. Faulk Jr. said nobody was known to have been in the building for at least a week.
First to respond were state police Trooper Thomas E. Miller and Kip J. LaClair, who lives next door and leases one side of the building from the department to hold music supplies.
It was kind of a smoldering-type thing, Mr. Miller said.
Mr. Miller kicked in the door, and Mr. LaClair, a charter member of the department, used the troopers fire extinguisher.
This thing was rolling, Mr. LaClair said. While he was spraying into the building, Mr. LaClair said, the windows blew out. The building was not destroyed, however.
Firefighters from Pamelia, Northpole and Evans Mills arrived a few minutes later to finish putting out the fire. A National Grid crew also came to cut power to the building.
Mr. LaClair, whose music equipment was undamaged, said that if the trooper had not responded as quickly as he did, the fire would have turned out much worse.
Mr. Faulk did not have an estimated value for the damaged and ruined items, but said items such as the reindeer were priceless, as he, his father and another department member made and painted them by hand about 12 years ago.
The burned sign and benches were going to be used next week during the departments clambake, Mr. Faulk said.