Firehouse fire in Golden's Bridge, Westchester County

Joe Torres reports
February 24, 2014 2:32:24 PM PST
Fast-moving flames significantly damaged the Golden's Bridge Firehouse in Lewisboro, New York on Monday.

"It's embarrassing to call 9-1-1 and say there's a fire at your firehouse," Ed Brancati, Goldens Bridge FD Board of Commissioners, said.

But that's exactly what Brancati did about 9:15 this morning. He and one firefighter were inside the Goldens Bridge firehouse when he noticed smoke coming from an upstairs heater, so he went downstairs to investigate.

"I went down as far as I could. I could look around. I saw an orange glow. And then there was some type of explosion and I said I think it's time to get out of here," he explained.

Flames quickly spread through the northern Westchester County firehouse as nearly 100 firefighters from more than a dozen nearby companies responded to the scene. It took all of them more than 2-hours to get the fire under control. The firefighter inside the building suffered smoke inhalation, but is okay tonight.

"The challenge was getting their equipment out and then trying to get back in. I mean we are working around three pieces of apparatus that are still in the firehouse that we were unable to get out. So it was just a challenge getting manpower here to get in there," Chief Jason Blauvelt, Croton Falls Fire Dept, said.

The volunteer company dates back to 1909. It is one of three fire departments in the town of Lewisboro. Brancati called the fire a 'severe catastrophe' to the department and the community.

"There's a half million dollar rescue truck that's probably done. There's two SUV's that are probably lost as well, not to mention the structure," he said.

Authorities say the smoke detectors at the firehouse were hard wired and the investigation continues into what was being heard.

Investigators say the fire was accidental. They believe the fire originated from a faulty electrical connection to a fire truck while parked inside of the firehouse.