Fire in freezing cold tears through West Ferry home

Lt. Stephen Froberg is covered in foam as he exits the house at 39 Pierce Ave. PHOTOS BY ANDREA VON HOHENLEITEN

Lt. Stephen Froberg is covered in foam as he exits the house at 39 Pierce Ave. PHOTOS BY ANDREA VON HOHENLEITEN

A fire most likely started by a spark from a wood-burning stove Saturday has left a home uninhabitable in the West Ferry neighborhood.

Firefighters were dispatched to 39 Pierce Ave. at 9:46 a.m. Along with fighting the fire for roughly 45 minutes, they had to battle a cold snap with a wind chill that brought the temperature below zero degrees.

“It was freaking cold,” said Jim Bryer, fire chief.

The homeowner told Bryer he was putting logs into the woodburing stove when the fire started. Although Bryer does not believe there was any foul play, the fire marshal still is investigating the cause. The fire is thought to have started on the first floor before expanding to the second level.

About two dozen firefighters responded to the blaze. They had to knock down the fire using only water from tanker trucks because the fire hydrant near the house was “frozen solid,” Bryer said. The firefighters were on the scene for about 90 minutes.

A GoFundMe page, titled “Lizzie and Evan Fire Recovery Fund,” has been created by Mary Beth Murphy. According to the page, the homeowners “lost everything” in the fire, and they have “a long road ahead toward rebuilding their house and are facing this daunting task with grace, resilience and strength.”

Firefighters use water from tanker trucks because the hydrant was frozen solid.

Firefighters use water from tanker trucks because the hydrant was frozen solid.

The page had raised $22,700 as of Wednesday morning.

This photo from a GoFundMe page shows the interior of the house that has become uninhabitable because of the fire.

This photo from a GoFundMe page shows the interior of the house that has become uninhabitable because of the fire.