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Smoke destroys portion of Stonefence Resort, cause unknown

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Firefighters from several departments responded to what was initially believed to be a boiler fire at the Stonefence Resort’s motel, located along Route 37 on Riverside Drive just outside the city of Ogdensburg, Monday night.

Donna Mae Daum, front desk clerk, said she was taking a reservation in the lobby of the motel when a couple staying in Room 105 reported that something was wrong.

“They told me they heard a big, ‘boom’ sound, but I didn’t hear anything, then I smelt the smoke,” she said. “It was a weird smell, it was a kind of smoke I had never smelled before – it was like acid or burning plastic. Then I saw smoke just spewing out of the building.”

Mrs. Daum quickly called 911 around 8:30 p.m. Then she said she checked to make sure all the guests and staff were evacuated from the motel.

Firefighters arrived on scene shortly after and applied water from the rear and front of the building.

At around 10 a.m., the lights were shut off. Firefighters took axes to the walls of room 105 and climbed the roof above to find the source of the smoke.

But the cause of the fire was still undetermined at 11 p.m.

“I am still shaking, I don’t know if it is from the cold or because of what happened,” Mrs. Daum said. “My heart is going boom, boom, boom. I am still rattled.”

The building appeared to be heavily damaged by smoke. It was unclear whether Simplicity Restaurant, located within the motel, was damaged.

No one was injured. There was no one else staying in that portion of the hotel at the time, Mrs. Daum said. The six other guests staying at the resort were located in four of the other buildings.

There are 51 rooms total at the resort.

Construction crews, doctors and Border Patrol agents were among those staying at the resort, Mrs. Daum said.

The owner is currently out of the country, Mrs. Daum said.

Fire departments from Ogdensburg, Morristown, Heuvelton, Lisbon, and Brier Hill responded to the call.

Ogdensburg City and state police and Ogdensburg Rescue were also on hand to assist firefighters.

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