Friday, June 2, 2023

Pets Perish, Residents Lose Everything in City of Newburgh Two-Alarm Fire

Two pets were killed and a family lost everything they owned during a two-alarm fire in the City of Newburgh on Saturday. Volunteer firefighters were called in from other municipalities to provide protection to city residents and responded to two other emergencies as city crews battled the fire.

At approximately 7:30pm on Saturday, May 6, 2023, the City of Newburgh Fire Department was dispatched to a reported building fire at 428 Liberty Street, located directly behind Mount Saint Mary College. The building was a multi-family residence that was three stories high.

The incident commander arrived and found smoke coming from the third floor. City firefighters responded with one pumper carrying water plus one ladder truck to fight the fire. In addition to the incident commander and the apparatus operators, only four firefighters remained to search for victims, ventilate the roof, and fight the fire. The incident commander transmitted a second alarm.

The West Point Fire Department responded into the City of Newburgh to provide manpower to fight the fire. A pumper from the Air National Guard Fire Department left Stewart Airport to respond into the city and acted as a FAST Team in case any firefighters were injured or trapped inside.

Firefighters knocked down the fire, but at least two residents were left heartbroken. Known only as Mya and Kyle, the couple lost everything inside of their home. Their dog Eos and their cat Leviathan both died in the fire.

The remnants of the fire at 428 Liberty Street. (Photo by Robert McCormick)

Mya is an Emergency Medical Technician who is in grad school studying to further herself in the medical field. Kyle works in customer service. A GoFundMe page has been created to help them find a new home (link here). It was setup by their friend with a goal of $25,000. So far, just over $11,000 has been raised.

Mobile Life Support Services stood by at the fire scene. Red Cross was also called in to assist the displaced residents.

The Middle Hope Fire Department and the Winona Lake Fire Department, both volunteer companies from the Town of Newburgh, were called for ladder trucks to cover any additional calls in the City of Newburgh. Both companies were unable to assemble crews. Instead, the City of Beacon Fire Department from Dutchess County was called in to protect the city with a ladder truck. The Cronomer Valley Fire Department from the Town of Newburgh covered the City of Newburgh with a pumper.

At approximately 8:01pm, while city firefighters were still battling the fire on Liberty Street, they received a call for a pedestrian that was struck by a vehicle on Lander Street. The Cronomer Valley Fire Department rushed to the scene along with a City of Newburgh ladder truck that was filled with overtime. Once they arrived on scene, it was determined that a dog was struck by a vehicle – not a pedestrian.

Just one minute later, at approximately 8:02pm, city firefighters were called to a box alarm that was pulled on Grand Street. The Cronomer Valley Fire Department left the accident on Lander Street and hurried to that scene. The outcome of that call is unknown.

The cause of the original building fire on Liberty Street is under investigation.

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