Friday, June 2, 2023

City of Newburgh Warehouse Fire Draws Response from Two Counties; Second Fire Breaks Out at Apartment Complex

Firefighters from Orange and Dutchess Counties battled an intense warehouse fire in the City of Newburgh last night. While fighting this fire, a second fire broke out near an apartment complex.

The City of Newburgh leadership has not released any press releases or published any social media posts about either of the fires amid the ongoing censorship controversy that has caused major public backlash (see a listing of stories here). City officials have hidden several major fires from the public since a fatal fire on Lander Street in June of 2022 which drew widespread public criticism due to low staffing levels in the fire department.

At approximately 6:10pm on Wednesday, April 12, 2023, the City of Newburgh Fire Department was dispatched to a building on fire at 220 Dupont Avenue in the west end. The fire was at a large warehouse which is the home to All Craft Furniture Restoration.

Firefighters from multiple departments battle a warehouse fire in the City of Newburgh last night. (Photo by Robert McCormick)

Due to ongoing low staffing levels, the City of Newburgh Fire Department was only able to respond with one pumper and one ladder truck. A mere four interior firefighters fended for themselves to battle the large warehouse fire until help from neighboring municipalities would arrive later on. One incident commander and two apparatus operators performed their own tasks outside.

Mayor Torrance Harvey has frequently criticized non-residents of the City of Newburgh for complaining about issues plaguing the city administration even though city leaders have continuously relied on volunteers from other communities to fight their fires.

Last night, several neighboring paid and volunteer fire departments rushed into the city after the Dupont Avenue fire ignited.

The Stewart Air National Guard Fire Department and the West Point Fire Department responded with one pumper apiece. From Dutchess County, the Castle Point Fire Department responded with a pumper and the City of Beacon Fire Department responded with a ladder truck.

Firefighters overhaul the fire scene last night at a warehouse in the City of Newburgh. (Photo by Robert McCormick)

The Middle Hope and Winona Lake Fire Departments from the Town of Newburgh were called to cover any other calls in the city, but they are fully volunteer and were unable to assemble crews. Volunteers from the Coldenham and Good-Will Fire Departments responded into the city to protect it.

Two hours into the warehouse fire, a second fire was called in at the Lake Street Apartments. The caller reported a porch attached to the apartment complex was on fire. A group of City of Newburgh firefighters had to leave the warehouse fire, aided by the West Point Fire Department, to respond.

Firefighters arrived to find a large brush fire near the apartment complex that was spreading up the hill. According to reports, the fire covered a 1,000 square foot area and was actively growing. Firefighters were able to knock down the fire and spent considerable time overhauling the ground to prevent a rekindle.

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