Fire at upstate New York eatery started when owner tried to thaw frozen pipes

CHAZY, N.Y. — A fire that destroyed a popular bar and restaurant in upstate New York was caused when the owner attempted to thaw frozen pipes after last week’s subzero temperatures, authorities said.

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The Weathercock Restaurant & Bar in Chazy was “a complete loss” after the blaze broke out Saturday afternoon, the Chazy Volunteer Fire Department wrote in a Facebook post.

Chazy Fire Chief Dennis Pilon said the fire likely started in the walls of the building and then spread throughout the building, WCAX-TV reported.

According to the Clinton County Historical Association, The Weathercock opened on Dec. 24, 1944, the Press-Republican newspaper of Plattsburgh reported.

The bar had been a favorite for soccer fans to gather and watch matches, according to the newspaper. A massive watch party was held at The Weathercock during the recent World Cup matches late last year, the Press-Republican reported.

Witnesses said the building was completely destroyed about an hour after the fire began, according to the newspaper.

Nine area fire departments responded to put out the blaze, WPTZ-TV reported.

Firefighters were hindered by temperatures that dropped to minus 20 Fahrenheit with wind chills approaching minus 40 overnight Friday and into Saturday, the Press-Republican reported.

Clinton County Emergency Services Director Eric Day said fighting fires in subzero weather can cause water to freeze, the newspaper reported. Firefighters coming in contact with water could get dangerously cold, he said.

“When you get soaked fighting a fire and freeze up, it’s really hard to work,” Day told the newspaper.

Chazy is located in northeastern New York about 8 miles south of the Canadian border.

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