Fire rips through Port Jervis apartment building (video)


PORT JERVIS – Four Port Jervis families have been displaced after fire tore through the two-story apartment building. The structure, located at 72 East Main Street, the corner of Prospect and East Main Streets, is listed as having been built in 1940. 

A call for help came in to Orange County’s 9-1-1 center just after 6:30 Sunday evening, when the tenant in apartment three called reporting smoke in his residence.  The situation quickly became worse as smoke turned to flames, which quickly spread throughout the multi-story house.

Doug Brigham, the tenant who called 9-1-1, was the only person home in the building at the time the fire began. As he remained in his car outside hours later, firefighters continued to fight flames shooting from all sides of the once-ornate house in which he had resided since May of this year.

“I had fallen asleep watching TV,” Brigham recalled. “I heard the doorbell downstairs ring.  I went down to check, but there was no one there. I had smelled smoke coming from a padlocked door on the landing of the stairs as I went down. As I went back up the first set of stairs, I saw flames just starting to come from above the locked closet.”

When he opened the door to his apartment, Brigham reported seeing it filled with smoke and flames shooting in his bathroom window. He said he immediately got out of the building and called 9-1-1.

Brigham reported no one was home in the apartment across from his on the second floor, nor was there anyone in the downstairs apartments. However, a dog in the lower apartment exited the building as firefighters began fighting the fire.  It was unclear if the dog was released as firefighters entered the apartments, or how it got out of the house, but it was wet as it ran straight to firefighters outside the building.

The dog was taken in by a neighbor and safely cared for until its owner arrived on the scene.

The 3,328 square foot multi-family structure is listed as being owned by Red Knight Real Estate and partners IV LLC, both of Newark, NJ, and purchased in 2020 from Ast Construction Company.  

No injuries were reported as of late evening on Sunday.

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