Wednesday, January 16, 2019

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Fire in Newburgh’s Fogarty Apartments

(Photo: Bob McCormick)

NEWBURGH – A mid-morning fire on Tuesday in a third floor residence in the Fogarty Apartments at 162 Johnston Street in the City of Newburgh brought out firefighters from the city while Cronomer Valley and West Point firefighters on standby at the Public Safety Building.

The fire, which started in the bathroom of apartment 304, was determined to be accidental.

The fire was confined to the one apartment with heat damage to the public hallway, said Chief Terry Ahlers. The apartment is uninhabitable and will need to be renovated due to the fire damage. The chief said third-floor apartments can be occupied after repairs to the fire alarm system and exit signs on that floor.

Two residents were transported to St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital for smoke inhalation. There were no injuries to firefighters.

Newburgh City Police assisted with traffic on South and Third streets.

Ahlers said several factors prevented the fire from spreading. It was first reported to the fire department through the Municipal Alarm System, a series of fireboxes located city-wide. That gave the fire department a head start to keep the fire contained to a small area. He said the 911 call came in as fire trucks were pulling up to the scene in just 2 ½ minute. “A fire doubles in size every 30 seconds. This fire was already in the hallway on arrival. Another 2 ½ minutes would have resulted in a very long day for the city.”

Also, two of the three on-duty companies had a fourth firefighter restored to the crew recently. “This was a very long hose stretch that would have been performed by two firefighters. Instead there were four,” and that, Ahlers said, “significantly cut down the length of time to extinguish this fire.”

 


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