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Fire Destroys House of Kat-Lewisboro Ed Board Member

This story has been updated to include information from South Salem Fire Chief Andrew Llewellyn.

SOUTH SALEM, N.Y. – The house belonging to a member of the Katonah-Lewisboro School Board member caught fire early Tuesday afternoon and is likely totally destroyed, fire officials said. Everyone inside the house escaped safely.

The home of Trustee Dr. Peter Treyz, located at 81 Twin Lake Rd., and his wife, Betty, was totally engulfed in flames by 3 p.m. It was the second time in 30 years the home burned.

“My house burned down in 1981 and we rebuilt from scratch,” said Treyz, a retired orthodontist. “I am thinking that maybe we shouldn’t rebuild again.”

Getting water to the fire was problematic – there are no fire hydrants in the area – and firefighters were forced to pump water from nearby streams.

South Salem Fire Chief Andrew Llewellyn said when he first arrived at the scene, he was optimistic that the home could be saved.

“I thought we had a good chance to save it but the wind and lack of water was too much,” Llewellyn said.  “We made three interior attacks but had to pull back because of how fast it was moving.”

Llewellyn said the fire department would be spending a “good part of the night” investigating the cause and origin of the fire, which as of 5:30 p.m. Tuesday remained unknown.

The Treyz family has lived at the location since 1960.

Treyz said he and his wife, along with his granddaughter and her boyfriend, were having lunch at around 1:30 p.m.

“We heard a noise like a bird hitting a window,” he said. “We went upstairs and there was smoke coming out of the bathroom.”

Llewellyn said a total of 60 to 70 firefighters were on scene.  Seven fire departments responded including South Salem, Croton Falls, Vista, Goldens Bridge, Ridgefield, Conn., Bedford Hills, Pound Ridge and Somers.

“Everyone got out safe and that’s the main thing,” said Lewisboro Police Chief Frank Secret.

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