BEACON (20 Dec) -- A first alarm was transmitted at approximately 2350, for a reported fire in the basement at 343 Fishkill Avenue.
Upon arrival of Engine 33-12, a light smoke condition was visible from the basement and first floor windows of the large three story occupied multiple dwelling.
First due engine companies stretched to the basement to knock down the fire while the first due truck company initiated a primary search of the structure and evacuated all residents.
As the truck company began to open up the ceiling and walls, fire was visible in the walls on the first and second floors. It was also noticed at this time that the structure was balloon frame construction, which allowed the fire to travel throughout the structure.
A second alarm was than transmitted bringing Rescue 33-55 and Village of Fishkill with their FAST team to the scene; also bringing Rombout and Glenham to the city for station covers.
After thirty minutes of interior attack operations, all firefighters were ordered from the building after the second and third floors erupted in fire. At this time, the third through fifth alarms were transmitted bringing in to the scene tower ladders from Rombout and New Hamburg; engines from Glenham, Beacon, and Rombout; and North Highland (Putnam County) with their FAST team. This also brought in Middle Hope (Orange County), Chelsea, and Village of Wappingers to cover the city.
Once the equipment from the multiple alarms was on the scene both tower ladders and Ladder 33-45 set up their master streams, while the engine companies set up their stang guns for a surround & drown exterior operation. After six hours of exterior attack, the fire was finally declared under control.
Arlington also assisted by supplying fuel to the apparatus on the scene. Beacon Ambulance and Alamo set up a relief station during the fire. The fire is still under investigation by the City of Beacon Fire Investigation Division. The City of Beacon Fire Department wishes to thank all companies that assisted at this fire.