Four people and eight cats living in an Arbor Lane home in Southeast escaped a fire early Tuesday, according to officials.
Members of the Brewster Fire Department received the call at about 12:50 a.m. When they arrived, firefighters found smoke coming out of the structure, but no flames, according to Chief Bill Rieg.
The fire started down in the basement with an electric stove that the residents said they never use. A burner was on and nearby trash caught on fire, Rieg said.
"There was junk all over the place," he told Patch, calling the state of the basement "unbelievable." "You couldn't even walk in the house."
Firefighters extinguished the fire in about 15 minutes.
There was one smoke detector in the home but it did not work properly, Rieg said. All of the occupants—a man, woman and two children—got out of the home.
The man sustained a minor burn on his forehead after he attempted to put out the fire with a garden hose. Brewster Fire Department ambulance transported him to the Putnam Hospital Center in Carmel where he was treated and released.
Fire officials said the smoke and water damage was contained to the basement. Officials cut off electricity to the house. The residence is uninhabitable at this time. The Red Cross has been notified.
About 25 firefighters responded from Brewster, Carmel and Lake Carmel fire departments. Sheriff deputies and state troopers were there, too, as was New York State Electric and Gas (NYSEG) and the Putnam County Fire Investigation Team.