POMONA - Firefighters from the Hillcrest Fire Company No. 1 were called to a house fire at 10 Hidden Valley Dr. in the Village of Pomona on February 24, 2004 at 6:37p.m.
Within one minute of the dispatch, the first officer arrived and reported that the house was 50% involved. Firefighters mounted an offensive fire attack, however, crews had to back off to an exterior defensive attack due to the heavy volume of fire and increased involvement of the house.
Five handlines and a tower ladder master stream were in operation. Fire crews eventually gained headway on the fire.
Mutual aid was received from the Thiells and Monsey fire departments. Each responded with an initial 'Fast Team'. They were eventually put to work to assist in overhaul.
Firefighters were under the command of Hillcrest Chief Frank Bifulco.
The fire began when a pot of oil was left burning on the stove. The homeowner, who was in a first floor office, went to investigate popping noises and was confronted by heat and smoke. He then yelled to his two daughters to get out of the house. One daughter broke her leg after falling down the second floor staircase. The second daughter and her friend exited via a second floor window. The house was completely destroyed by the fire.
Fire officers are investigating whether the initial cellular 911 call from the homeowner was delayed. The call went upstate to the NYS Police in Monroe, New York.