INCIDENT REPORT >>>
By BARRY FUREY
Interstate Mutual Aid for New York
Construction Storehouse Fire
Mahwah Tower 2, one of four aerial
devices, places two turrets into service.
All told, more than 1.2 million gallons of
water was used to extinguish the fire.
hortly after 8 P.M. on Thursday, Feb. 5, 2009, the Suffern, NY, Fire Depart-
ment was dispatched for a reported structure fire at Washington Avenue
and Washington Circle in the downtown area of the village. The initial
response also included a heavy rescue from the Tallman Fire Department on
automatic mutual aid for a firefighter assist and search team (FAST), regional
terminology for what is also commonly known as a rapid intervention team (RIT).
Less than 40 seconds later, Lieutenant Fernando Salvador enroute to the nearby
Volunteer Hose firehouse confirmed a working fire at the Conserv Construction
warehouse, a 180-by-130-foot masonry block structure originally built in 1925.
Several additions had been constructed over the years, which resulted in not a
single fire building but rather four interconnected structures. The roof was a mix
of steel beam and wood truss. The fire load consisted largely of construction
equipment and supplies, including bottled gases, flammable liquids and tires.
There were no detection or suppression systems present, and the initial call
came from a nearby business owner.
Arriving units found smoke issuing from a series of metal roll-up doors
The first-in engine hand stretched a five-inch along the A side (Washington Avenue), as well as from the C and D sides of the
line and began an interior attack. There was structure. Firefighters were advised that that there were no occupants and that the main body of fire was near
no significant damage to exposures, including the C/D corner. Exposures in that area consisted of two single-car garages, several homes, an auto repair shop,
the trailer seen to the right of the picture.
a nail and beauty salon, and a 48-foot trailer used for storage. The side-B exposure was a fenced-in lot contain-
ing construction equipment. Battalion Chief Michael Stark was assigned responsibility for operations and began
BARRY FUREY, a Firehouse® contributing editor, is director a 360-degree survey of the fireground. Deputy Chief Daniel McInerney assumed command.
of the Raleigh-Wake Emergency Communications Center
in North Carolina. During his 35-year public safety career,
The first-due Suffern engine (19-Tanker) hand stretched a five-inch feeder line to a nearby hydrant that
he has managed 911 centers and served as a volunteer fire was supplied by a six-inch main. The crew then began an interior attack through the front door using a 2½-inch
officer in three other states. In 2002, Furey chaired the Asso- line and a two-