SLOANSVILLE, N.Y. -- A skeleton is all that is left of what used to be a two-story home at 767 Saddlemire Hill Rd. In Sloansville in Schoharie County.
At about 6 a.m. Saturday morning, area fire responders were called to 767 Saddlemire Hill Rd., Sloansville, NY for an active structure fire.
The residence is home to a mother and her two sons, and only one son was home at the time. No one was seriously injured, but the teenage son was taken to the hospital. Police on scene told NEWS10 it was likely because of shock.
While trying to put out the fire, responders faced weather-related difficulties. There were no hydrants in the area, and a nearby pond had frozen over. Firefighters had to pump water into their trucks, delivering from approx. five miles away from the scene. The winds were also high, fanning the flames to about 50 feet. They were hitting the east side of the building with significant force, making the flames hard to control.
Schoharie County Sheriff Tony Desmond said "this family has lost their home, it's a total loss."
Central Bridge Fire Department is in charge of investigating the cause of the fire, which is unknown at this time.
Firefighters say it's likely no official cause will ever be determined because of the destruction.
18-year-old Craig Shackelton was inside sleeping on the second floor when the fire broke out.
"If I hadn't woke up, I wouldn't be here today," says Shackelton.
Shackelton says he and his brother were not home last night. He woke up to the sound of the smoke detector going off Saturday morning.
"I had to get out of the house," he says. "I climbed out the window, went on the roof, climbed down a tree and as I got down to the road, all I could see were flames coming out of the house. It was devastating."
Eric Johnson, the second assistant chief for the Central Bridge Fire Department says all the water to fight the fire had to be brought in by tankers six miles away, but because of the house's age and construction, it was already a total loss.
"If my first attempt had worked, which was a master stream on this side of the house, if that had worked better than it did, the house would still be the same as it is," says Johnson.
Shackelton says he and his family lost several pets in the fire, but he knows he could have also lost his life.
"I'm very, very lucky," he says.
The family has nothing left, so if you are able to donate anything, donations can be dropped off at the Central Bridge Fire Department.
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