Home and pets lost in two-alarm house fire

By Haley Burton
By Kelly McCarthy

March 25, 2014 Updated Mar 26, 2014 at 10:11 AM EDT

Town of Chenango, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Fire crews were unable to save the home of a two alarm fire that included an explosion in the Town of Chenango.

The call came over just before 11 a.m. Tuesday to 794 Castle Creek Road, right near Beers Road.

No one was inside the home at 794 Castle Creek Road when the fire started. The owner of the home, Daryl Seward, lives in the house next door but owns both properties.

The owner's house wasn't damaged at all, but three of his family members living at 794 Castle Creek Road lost everything.

"We weren't even gone an hour," Seward said, "And everything was fine when we left."

As a former volunteer fire fighter, Seward knew when he saw the billowing black smoke from miles away his property was a total loss.

"We seen it, we seen the smoke from Whitney Point smoke coming over the hill," Seward said.

Seward volunteered with the Castle Creek Fire Company before it merged with the Chenango Fire Company.

"I've seen a lot of them but never mine," he said.

Fire crews fought the flames for more than an hour, and family members watched as the home burned to the ground.

"There were some explosions coming from the front corner of the house we believe to be oxygen tanks at the time," said Assistant Fire Chief Russell Carey, Chenango Fire Company, "And at that point we just said, not knowing what was in the house we were going to pull back and be defensive about it."

The closest fire hydrant is roughly three miles away. Crews brought all the water in from tankers and said the safest way to respond was to take a less aggressive approach.

"We were told there was nobody inside, property can be replaced, firefighters lives, we're not going to take that risk and put them inside," Carey said, "It's just not worth it."

No human lives were taken by these flames, but two rescue animals did not make it out.

"The dog and the cat died in there I guess they couldn't get them out," Seward said, "The Sheriff's Deputies tried to but they couldn't do it."

The homeowner's brother was living at the house said even though he lost all of his possessions he's struggling the most with losing his two animals.

His 6-year old rescue dog was named "Nana" after one of the huskies from the movie "Snow Dogs."

Chenango, Whitney Point and Choconut Center fire departments responded to the scene, along with tankers.

Broome County Fire Investigators are still looking into the cause of the fire.