Friday, March 8, 2019

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Fire destroys building housing five businesses

At least five businesses destroyed. A dozen fire departments fought the blaze.

TOWN OF POUGHKEEPSIE – Fire early Thursday morning destroyed a large commercial building in the Town of Poughkeepsie that housed several businesses.

An automatic fire alarm at 5:23 a.m. brought the Roosevelt Fire Department to the structure at 501 Salt Point Turnpike. 

Firefighters encountered heavy smoke coming from the building and transmitted a second-, then third-alarm to bring more equipment and manpower to the scene.  Firefighters from Roosevelt, Poughkeepsie, Arlington, Fairview, East Clinton, Pleasant Valley, West Clinton, LaGrange, and Millbrook among others were joined by the Dutchess County Department of Emergency Response to battle the blaze in the warehouse.

The building houses at least five businesses. The most prominent, and owner of the structure, is Thomas Gleason, Inc., a well-established excavating company.  Tommy Gleason was at the scene to assist the incident command with information such as the location of hazardous materials in the building as well as the general layout of the interior. In addition to the excavating company, the building also housed a small auto-repair business and was being used for boat storage.

Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro had the Department of Emergency Response deploy all available teams to assist the dozen career and volunteer fire departments working at the scene, including the county's "hazmat" team. 

In addition to emergency response, Deputy County Executive Ronald Hicks, in charge of economic development, was at the scene early on to meet with the business owners and offer an array of support for those affected.

"This is a significant loss to multiple businesses," said Molinaro and he offered that "we'll be with them shoulder to shoulder" in effort to get the businesses up and running as soon as possible.

In addition to local and county resources, the New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control and DEC were notified and responding to the scene.  The state fire office responded because of the significant loss initially estimated at over $1 million.

Roosevelt Chief Lew Darrow said the cause and origin of the fire remain under investigation.


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