Village of Wappingers Falls - A fire swept through a West Main St. building in the Village of Wappingers on Saturday December 20, 2003 at about 2 am.
Wappingers Falls Firefighters Tom Paonessa Jr. and Joseph Cservak were passing by and spotted the fire and began a primary search, rescuing an elderly female.
The two firefighters then went to the neighboring exposures and began evacuating the residents with the help of the Village Police and a village resident, said Fire Chief Steve Paino.
The fire quickly went to a four alarm blaze because of the numerous exposures.
The building only had two occupied apartments and several others were being renovated.
The building was later ordered demolished because of the risk of collapse.
The Wappingers Fire Department was assisted by the Hughsonville, New Hamburg, New Hackensack, Chelsea, Arlington, Village of Fishkill and East Fishkill Fire Departments.
The Village was also assisted by Alamo Ambulance, Dutchess County Emergency Response Dispatchers, Coordinators and Fire Investigation Team and the Village of Wappingers Falls Police Department.