Friday, May 6, 2011
New Square, NY - Fire Damages Residential Building
NEW SQUARE — More than 100 volunteer firefighters extinguished a fire at a two-family house as the family safely got out with the help of village emergency response personnel, authorities said.
The fire started at about 9:42 p.m. Thursday in the vacant third-floor attic on Bush Lane, with flames eventually eating away at the roof.
"The house is uninhabitable," New Square Fire Inspector Manny Carmona said Friday. "They lost part of the roof. There's no way it can be occupied."
Parents and their two children lived on the first floor, while the second-floor apartment and upper floor were vacant, Carmona said.
More than 100 firefighters arrived as smoke and flames streaked out of the upper portion of the house.
Hillcrest firefighters battled the fire and were assisted by volunteers from Spring Valley and New City.
One Hillcrest firefighter suffered a burn to his neck and was taken by Spring Hill Ambulance Corps to Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern.
The firefighter was treated and released, Hillcrest Fire Chief Lloyd Hovelmann said.
The cause of the blaze remains under investigation by the fire unit with the Sheriff's Department Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Ramapo police detectives.
"The reason why it started remains unknown, at this point," Hovelmann said. "We know the fire started on the third floor."
New Square Emergency Services volunteers arrived first and helped the family get out of the house, which lies between Reagan Road and Clinton Lane, Sgt. Margaret Sammarone said in a news release.
Local residents also banged on the first-floor door.
The village emergency volunteers kept the crowd of onlookers back from the scene, allowing the firefighters to bring in their trucks into the narrow streets and set up hoses to attack the fire.
Because many village houses are built close together, a fire draws a large fire department response in case flames spread to nearby structures.
At some past fires in New Square, onlookers and New Square volunteers have interfere d with Hillcrest fire volunteers, leading to confrontations.
There also were problems with village emergency personnel trying to douse fires on their own, without proper training.
No such problems occurred on Thursday night, police and Hovelmann said.
"They worked very well with us," Hovelmann said of the village emergency response unit.