At approximately 1:30 AM on Thursday, December 18, 2003, the Walden Fire Department was alerted for a Structure Fire on Valley Avenue and Woodruff Street. Command was advised enroute of multiple calls and the possibility of people still trapped.
Walden Chief Michael Pangia arrived and reported a heavily involved 2.5 story frame dwelling with reports of children trapped. A FAST team was requested from Coldenham. Additional mutual aid was requested from Wallkill and Orange Lake with Montgomery and Maybrook on standby at Walden.
As the fire was winding down, a Walden firefighter fell through the floor near the front door and was rescued by the Coldenham fire department FAST team and treated for minor injuries.
Sadly, two children could not be reached in time and died in the fire.
The cause of the fire is under investigation by the Orange County Fire Investigation Unit. Town of Montgomery Volunteer Amb Corp and Mobile Life Support Services along with the Walden Ladies Auxillary also assisted on scene.