Three firefighters were injured in a two-alarm fire in the City of Newburgh’s west end last night.
The City of Newburgh Fire Department was dispatched to a house fire at 517 South Street behind Newburgh Free Academy at 6:50 pm yesterday. Firefighters arrived on the scene and found heavy fire in the basement.
According to the City of Newburgh Firefighters IAFF Local 589, an on-duty crew of seven firefighters responded with one pumper and one ladder truck. With the incident commander and firetruck drivers remaining outside, four firefighters began battling the inferno.
The fire department’s incident commander called a second alarm. The Coldenham, Good-Will, Cronomer Valley, Air National Guard, and West Point Fire Departments all responded to the scene. The Salisbury Mills and Castle Point Fire Departments stood by at the Public Safety Building to cover any additional calls. Additional off-duty City of Newburgh firefighters were called in from home to help battle the fire.
The New Windsor, Vail’s Gate, and Cornwall Fire Departments were also called to help, but they all reported they could not respond.
“With limited manpower, the fire had the opportunity to extend to the upper floors of the residential building,” the IAFF stated. One City of Newburgh firefighter and one Air National Guard firefighter suffered minor burns while trying to contain the fire as it spread to the second floor. An additional City of Newburgh firefighter sustained heat exhaustion. All three firefighters were sent to the emergency room and were eventually released.
According to the IAFF, all occupants and pets were out of the residence upon the fire department’s arrival.
During the fire, the City of Newburgh Police Department was called to the scene for a disorderly driver. A person reportedly drove over a large fire hose connecting a pumper to a hydrant, which risked damaging the water supply line and leaving interior firefighters without water. The driver then allegedly continued driving back and forth past the fire scene. It is unknown if the culprit was nabbed by police.