Contractors working on the roof of a historic house at 28 Linden Avenue set off a fire around 9:00 am on Saturday, December 17 that drew a speedy response from Larchmont and Mamaroneck firefighters.
The house, built in 1892 as St. Augustine’s Catholic Church, was remodeled into a private home in 1922 after the congregation began its move to its new site on Larchmont Avenue, according to Larchmont Historical Society records. The current owners, Paula and David Eisenberg, were out of town when the fire erupted, but a supervisor working on the job called for help, and the workers also attempted to extinguish the fire with a garden hose, according to reports from a neighbor who was walking by at the time.
“It was a small fire inside the wall,” said Larchmont Deputy Fire Chief Tom Broderick, who was at the incident along with a number of Larchmont and Town of Mamaroneck firefighters. “The contractor called us quickly which allowed us to get there quickly while the fire was still small,” reported Deputy Chief Broderick.
Also contributing to the speedy response was the contractor placing the call via cell phone to 911. Those calls go first to the state and then to the county, which dispatches the firefighters directly through their pagers. “Since 60 Control [Westchester County’s Emergency Control Center] dispatched, it allowed the volunteers to get there at the same time as the fire trucks,” said Deputy Chief Broderick.
“We wish this hadn’t happened at all, of course, but since it did, we’re so grateful the Larchmont Fire Department got there so quickly. They did a wonderful job containing the fire to a small area and minimizing the water damage inside the house,” wrote Paula Eisenberg in an email from North Carolina. Even as the firefighters were working on the house, she had been alerted to the situation via phone messages from a number of neighbors and friends.
“It’s no fun being 600 miles from home and getting a phone call saying, ‘There’s a fire at your house,’ but at least the Larchmont Fire Department did a super job keeping the damage to a minimum. They’re the best,” added David Eisenberg.