Fund seeks to aid displaced, injured Otter Lake firefighter

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TOWN OF FORESTPORT — The Otter Lake Volunteer Fire Department is raising money to help a firefighter who lost his home in a fire on Alger Lane earlier this month, and who remains hospitalized with burn injuries.

Fire officials said 25-year department veteran Bob Gape escaped his burning home with only the clothes on his back at 6:21 p.m. Feb. 16. Officials said Gape suffered first, second and third-degree burns on 20% of his body, and he was rushed to University Hospital in Syracuse. He is still undergoing treatment.

Officials said Gape forced open a door to escape into his snow-covered yard and he was exhausted when rescued by responding firefighters. The home at 135 Alger Lane and all of its contents were a total loss. Officials said Gage did not have insurance on the home.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

The Otter Lake Fire Department has set up a fundraiser at GoFundMe.com titled “Otter Lake Firefighter Loses Home to Fire.” Over $14,700 has been raised so far on the site. The department is also accepting direct donations, which can be mailed to “Attn: Bob Gape Emergency Fund”, 13853 NYS Route 28, Otter Lake, NY 13338.

Officials said all funds will be given to Gape to help rebuild his life. Officials said Gape is a veteran of the U.S. Navy and is very active with the Harland J. Hennessey VFW Post 5538 in Boonville.

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