22 Aug 2014
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[UPDATED] Route 22 Structure Fire Still Burning After More Than 3 Hours

Firefighters from several different companies—across Dutchess, Fairfield (CT), Putnam and Westchester—were on the scene.

Updated, 1 p.m. The blaze at , at 1639 Route 22 in Southeast, reportedly began around 7:30 a.m. in the second row of units.

Additional fire apparatus was arriving at the scene throughout the morning and early afternoon. The first row of units, visible from the roadway, was not affected, according to Matt Freehill, manager of the facility.

"It's a horrible tragedy," he said. "All I can tell you now is it's the second building. How much of it, I honestly and truly don't know."

One of the dozens of responders at the scene confirmed that there were no injuries. Reports suggest that the fire may have began during work to a roof in the 900-unit facility, which Freehill confirmed was happening Friday morning.

"They're not letting us back there," he said when asked if he had seen the flames, as firefighters continued to battle the blaze around 11:10 a.m. "There's not a lot we can see. I don't know if it's the whole building."

The affected building contains several hundred units, most of which are rented, Freehill said. He hopes to speak with customers who have property in the facility as soon as possible, but he said the process could take a few days.

Responders came from all over—from Dutchess, Fairfield (CT), Putnam and Westchester counties—to battle the smoke and flames. Companies included but were not limited to , Carmel, Croton Falls, Mahopac and Patterson, plus Ball Pond and Danbury in Connecticut.

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Members of the Putnam County Fire Investigation Team were there, too.

The stretch of Route 22, between Route 312 and Doansburg Road, that officials shut down around 10:30 a.m. was still closed at 1 p.m. Prior to the closure, motorists experienced delays because one of the southbound lanes was blocked.

A firefighter at the scene told Patch around 12:30 p.m. that the fire was still not completely under control and that a portion of the north end of the building—where the fire likely originated—had collapsed. 

He said that responders were pulling apart the fire, section by section, in a "meticulous" fashion because so many different materials—including a vehicle in one unit—were involved and they want to make sure it's completely extinguished. He estimated that the the efforts would continue for several hours, into the afternoon and possibly the evening.

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