Gun range fire in Pearl River, Rockland County leaves 6 firefighters injured

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Monday, November 29, 2021
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Three firefighters are recovering from smoke inhalation after battling a stubborn fire at an indoor gun range in Rockland County. Joe Torres has the latest.

PEARL RIVER, Rockland County (WABC) -- Half a dozen firefighters are recovering from smoke inhalation after battling a stubborn fire that broke out Sunday afternoon at an indoor gun range in Rockland County.

The fire broke out around noon Sunday at R.I.S.E. (Rockland Indoor Shooting & Education), located in the basement of a shopping center in Pearl River.

The blaze quickly spread to spreading to other stores in the building, including Dollar General and Dunkin Donuts.

It took firefighters nearly six hours to bring the fire under control. More than 100 firefighters from 20 departments responded to the scene.

Michelle Worob had a lot to be thankful for on Monday. The fire did not spread to her deli of 24 years. Nonetheless, there were some tense moments.

"At some point throughout the night things were getting pretty scary and pretty out of control and the fire was creeping down the soffit towards our stores," Worob said "There were times that we thought the whole place would go up."

Fire officials say access to the flames was difficult due to its location deep inside the basement of the shopping center.

"A lot of void spaces that we couldn't reach with our hoses, we couldn't get to," Pearl River Fire Department Chief Jim Morrison said. "We're tearing down ceilings and stuff, trying to get to the access point, no good, couldn't do it."

"The way in which the gun club is constructed, it's a requirement that they have a steel or lead ceiling," building owner David Rosen said. "So there is a void between the lead ceiling and the underside of the floor."

The injured firefighters were taken to an area hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation. All are expected to survive.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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