Friday, September 29, 2023

Squatters Accidentally Burn Down City of Newburgh Brownstone

Two City of Newburgh firefighters were injured while fighting a house fire with reports of entrapment.

The City of Newburgh Fire Department was dispatched to a report of a structure fire with occupants still in the building at 11 South Miller Street at 6:51 am on Saturday. Fire units quickly arrived two minutes after being dispatched and found a two-story brownstone dwelling with fire showing on the first and second floors. Firefighters received reports that squatters were in 11 and 13 South Miller Street.

The fire department’s incident commander transmitted a second alarm and had dispatch recall off-duty City of Newburgh firefighters. Fire apparatus from the West Point Fire Department raced over Storm King Mountain to rush to the scene. The Castle Point Veteran’s Administration Hospital Fire Department in Dutchess County was also called to respond to the scene. The Stewart Air National Guard Fire Department, Cronomer Valley Fire Department, and Vails Gate Fire Department also responded to the scene. Firefighters from the adjoining Good-Will and Middlehope Fire Departments stood by and covered the remainder of the City while crews operated.

City of Newburgh Mayor Torrance Harvey and City Manager Todd Venning responded to the scene to assist with crowd control.

Firefighters vacated residents from 9 and 13 South Miller Street. They established that the occupant of 11 South Miller Street had self-evacuated the building. Firefighters worked hard for over 90 minutes to bring the fire under control and to keep it contained, saving the adjacent buildings from burning.

The two City of Newburgh firefighters who were injured during the initial attack were treated on-scene by Mobile Life Support Services ambulance and were released.

The city’s fire investigators determined the cause of the fire to be a candle being used by a squatter in 11 South Miller Street. City of Newburgh Code Compliance notified the property owner to secure the building.

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