Fire destroys Red Hook restaurant and seven other businesses


Cause remains under investigation

RED HOOK – A three-alarm fire early Tuesday destroyed Rusty’s Farm Fresh Eatery and seven other businesses in the same building on Route 9 in Red Hook, just south of the village. There was also one apartment with all residents evacuating safely.
One firefighter was transported to the hospital for observation for possible smoke inhalation.
The fire is believed to have begun in the back kitchen area of the facility and spread quickly to the adjacent car dealership and then to other businesses in the building.
Fire company spokesman Jeff Levine said being in a small community, the fire affects everyone.
“These are not only local businesses, they are our neighbors, our friends, who have been making a living at these businesses so it is going to be very hard on them and that makes it hard on the community,” Levine said.
The Red Hook Fire Company was dispatched at 5:19 a.m. to a fire in the restaurant. First responding firefighters found flames shooting through the roof. It took three hours to bring the blaze under control and personnel remained on the scene until mid-afternoon.
Firefighters were concerned about a possible explosion due to the proximity of several propane tanks to the flames. However, they were able to keep the tanks doused with cool water to alleviate the danger.
Dozens of neighboring fire departments from Dutchess, Columbia and Ulster counties assisted at the scene with as many as 60 volunteers, plus EMS personnel, at the scene.
The cause of the fire is yet to be determined; however it is not believed to have been suspicious.