On New Year's Day, Eunice Petrini and her husband were flying home from a vacation in Fiji. What they didn’t know was that their son, Ken Petrini, was trying to call them to let them know that their home at 93 Oswegatchie Road – the only house Eunice Petrini had ever lived in – had been destroyed by a fire.
“My heart just sank,” Ken Petrini said, describing his reaction to when he found out the first floor of the house he grew up in had been gutted by a fire. “I’m just in shock.”
At around 6:40 Tuesday night, Waterford firefighters responded to a call of a chimney fire at 93 Oswegatchie Road. The fire took about 20 minutes to put out, and destroyed almost the entire first floor of the two-story home, according Oswegatchie Fire Chief Mark Schenking.
Schenking said the fire came from the chimney, although the exact cause had not yet been determined. He said the fire gutted the first floor, but the second floor was still mostly intact.
Ken Petrini said the only person home at the time was his nephew, who was housesitting the home while Petrini's parents were on vacation. Nobody was hurt in the fire.
Ken Petrini said his mother, Eunice Petrini, who is in her mid-60s, lived in the home her entire life. Ken Petrini was raised in the home, and said the hardest part was losing all the sentimental items.
He said his father also had various collections, and wondered if they survived the fire. As of 7:30 p.m., Petrini said he tried to call his parents several times, although still hadn’t gotten through as they most likely had their phones off on the airplane.
“I can imagine this is going to be very tough for them,” Petrini said. “It is going to be very difficult to have to tell them about this.”