Propane tanks discovered in burning house

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PORT JERVIS – What was reported as smoke coming from the attic of a single-family Port Jervis home brought firefighters quickly to a structure fire at 29 Orchard Street early Monday evening.  

Port Jervis Fire Department Chief Keith Brown said upon arrival, within minutes of the 5:38 p.m. dispatch, smoke was coming from the eves and fire was visible on the first and second floors of the house.  Firefighters began an aggressive multi-line attack and brought what was a rough fire under control quickly.

As firefighters entered the structure there was the discovery of a large number of propane tanks inside the home.  A thorough search was immediately conducted and all tanks were removed to the outside.  Firefighters were then able to bring the fire under control and extinguish the blaze in less than a half-hour.

A neighbor said he thought the owner was using the propane tanks to heat his home. That could not be confirmed.

The residential structure, under renovation over the past several years, brought a different type of emergency response in the summer of 2020.  At that time, Hurricane Isaias was passing through the region and brought down a large portion of a huge tree in the backyard of the property. A very large tree limb and a portion of the trunk of the tree landed on the neighboring Naval Ship Post building on Barcelow Street.   This incident required the removal of the downed limb as well as the entire tree. 

Yufeng Liang, owner of the Orchard Street home, arrived on scene just after 6 p.m.  He spoke with firefighters and chiefs, and while displaced from his home, said he has a place to stay.

Fire investigators were on scene investigating for a possible cause. No cause had been determined as of mid-evening Monday.