A lithium battery caused a massive fire in a Vail’s Gate home just two months after a new owner purchased it. While many people were out enjoying the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, volunteer firefighters from several local companies dropped what they were doing to battle this two-alarm fire on Saturday night.
At approximately 7:00pm on Saturday, the Vail’s Gate Fire Department was dispatched to a possible house fire at 10 Beakes Road, located off Route 32 near the Cornwall town line.
Chief officers from the fire department arrived on the scene to discover that fire had fully engulfed the garage, which was attached to the house, and had extended to two vehicles in the driveway.
According to property records, the house was purchased by a new owner two months ago. It is listed as 2,101 square feet, containing two stories and four bedrooms.
According to fire officials, all residents were accounted for upon their arrival. The Vail’s Gate Fire Department’s First Assistant Chief entered the burning house through the front door to secure the interior garage door in an attempt to help isolate the fire to the garage. The fire then began extending to the second floor and the attic space above the garage.
The incident commander transmitted a second alarm. The City of Newburgh Fire Department responded with a pumper and the Washingtonville Fire Department was dispatched to the scene with a FAST Team, which is tasked with rescuing any downed firefighters inside the fire building. The West Point Fire Department was also called with a FAST Team, but they were later cancelled.
Fire apparatus began arriving and firefighters entered the home to begin attacking the fire. Crews from Vail’s Gate, the City of Newburgh Fire Department’s engine company, and Washingtonville’s FAST Team worked together to bring the fire under control in just 45 minutes.
Orange County fire investigators responded to the scene and determined the cause of the fire to be a malfunctioning lithium battery from a power tool in the rear of the garage.
The New Windsor Police Department, Cornwall Police Department, and New Windsor Emergency Medical Services also assisted at the scene. The New Windsor Fire Department stood by to cover any additional calls in Vail’s Gate.