by Dave Warner

The call went out to the Little Falls Fire Department at approximately 8:03 pm Sunday to respond to a house fire at 433 Flint Ave Ext. When they arrived, there was heavy smoke pouring from the building.

According to Little Falls Fire Chief Robert Parese “We called in first tankers for water. We had East Herkimer, Mohawk, Dolgeville, St. Johnsville, Schuyler and Frankfort. Two engines, the chiefs vehicle and an ambulance responded from Little Falls.”

“Thirteen firefighters from Little Falls fought the blaze for about an hour to an hour and a half,” he said. “We called in Herkimer and they came to the scene. We put Salisbury in our station for standby and MOVAK in our station for EMS standby.”

“The cause of the fire is undetermined right now, but we kinda have an idea,” said the Chief.

He continued “It was hard to find it (the source). It was in the walls, ceilings and floors, so at first, we didn’t know where it was until it came out after us. It broke out of the walls and went into the attic.”

According to Robin Klock Klimacek, Kevin Klimacek and his 77 year old mother Karen lived in the house and family members were celebrating her birthday as the fire was brewing in the walls.

“There were eleven of us there and we were finishing up after the birthday cake. Myself, my two boys and Kevin’s sister Julie and her family left. My husband and Kevin stayed behind to talk with their mom. We no sooner got to the bridge by McDonald’s when my husband called us to come back to the house. There was smoke and we needed to get mom out. That’s when it all went bad,” she said.

Klimacek stated “We are getting support from the community, which is wonderful. We are safe and waiting for the insurance to take our next step.”

The family lost everything in the fire, but they are “just thankful we all got out alive,” she said.

Family members have been running to Walmart for food and supplies since they had very little clothing that they were able to save.

Karen and Kevin are both staying with family at 147 Sabin Rd in Little Falls. If you would like to help them out, they are open to donations being dropped off at that location.