UPDATE (7:15 p.m.) — This story was updated with information from the Trumansburg Fire Company.
ULYSSES, N.Y. — Firefighters worked for two hours Thursday afternoon to put out a structure fire that enveloped a lakefront cottage on Maplewood Road in Ulysses. While the home that initially caught fire sustained heavy damage, crews were able to save a second home that was threatened by the flames.
Trumansburg Fire Assistant Chief Dan Scherer said the location of the homes combined with the limited availability of volunteer firefighters at midday made the call a challenge. The two homes were down a steep hill from the road, making it difficult to pinpoint the location of the blaze and get equipment to the site.
By the time crews arrived on the scene, flames had consumed much of the second story of one cottage and were so hot they were melting the siding on a second home, which was separated from the first home by about five feet, Scherer said.
“Objective number one was to save the house next door,” he said, since the first was already engulfed.
Within about 30 minutes crews were able to contain the fire and prevent structural damage to the neighboring house. They were only able to bring one truck down to the level of the homes, so Scherer said they had to run up and down the hill to access equipment.
Crews were on-site for a total of about two hours as they worked to knock down hot spots and contain debris.
Neither of the homes were occupied when the fire broke out, and no injuries to firefighters were reported. Smoke was visible from Rt. 89 and points along the shore of Cayuga Lake, including Ithaca Yacht Club. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
In addition to the Trumansburg Volunteer Fire Company, firefighters from Ithaca, Enfield, Interlaken, Mecklenburg and Burdett assisted.
Featured image: Courtesy of Trumansburg Volunteer Fire Company