New York Island's Fire Station Destroyed

Fire destroyed the Thousand Island Park fire station and two businesses Wednesday night.

Inside were fire trucks, the department's only ambulance and rescue gear, according to WWNY.

"There are tanks that are in the building. There are fuel tanks, as well as oxygen tanks because of the ambulance," Fred Lampman deputy director of Jefferson County's fire and emergency management, told reporters.

After burning for about a half hour, the building collapsed, showering neighboring homes in fiery debris.

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"It shot a lot of embers up into the air at that time," Jim Brasser, a resident, told the news crews. "Most of the neighbors were hosing down their yards and houses and decks at the time, just to make sure nothing spread."

Crews worked to keep the fire from spreading, but there were other losses. A plumbing business and a popular ice cream shop known as The Guzzle were both destroyed.

"How many people count on this block, this corner right here for their socialization," resident Anne Haller said, "if they want their coffee in the morning or to meet somebody at the mailbox -- it's the core of the park."

It's not the first time the community dealt with tragedy like this. Two major fires in 1890 and 1912 destroyed hotels and cottages.