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Heavy Fire Destroys Ossining Two-Family Home

A firefighter was hospitalized for fatigue after battling today's blaze.

49 Hunter Street was still smoldering at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday following many hours of overnight effort from about 65 fire department members. Luckily, said Ossining Chief Jason Lorenz, no one happened to be in this two-family home when the aggressive blaze began.

A neighbor two doors down from the scene where many emergency responders were still at work -- at this point throwing ruined things out open spaces in the charred remains of the structure -- said she was awoken around 4 a.m. by a loud popping noise. 

"It was like fireworks," said 21-year-old Kassandra Negron, "like a huge pop, an explosion. But I was already waking up from the craziness, the lights." 

Negron is familiar with the tenants of the two-family home and confirmed what authorities said that no one was there. "The family is off bringing him to college," she said of one young tenant and his family. The other tenant downstairs, "was staying with his mom."

"It's pretty scary," Negron said of what they will return to see.

Officials said they would be there for a while; the blaze that got called in by a neighbor around 3:45 a.m. was only considered fully under control by 8:30 a.m., Lorenz said. 

Negron said the second floor actually started to burn again after it had already been extinguished. 

Responders were confronted by a "heavy fire load on the porch," when they arrived, Lorenz said. They did two searches of the home to make doubly sure no one was home. 

One firefighter had already been treated and released from Phelps Memorial Hospital this morning for fatigue, Lorenz said. 

Fire departments responding hailed from Ossining, Croton, Briarcliff Manor, Sleepy Hollow, Millwood, along with assistance from Ossining and Pleasantville ambulance corps. 

The structure looks unsalvageable from street level, but Lorenz said they would do their best to save the home. "It's an old construction, the siding melted," Lorenz described. "The floors are compromised."

The building department and Village manager were on hand to investigate the house as well, though the home's owner was not around. Lorenz said it's a challenge with this level of a fire to get in there and determine the cause at this point, and he ventured no guess yet. 

Negron, the neighbor, said she heard it was electrical.

Krista Madsen August 21, 2013 at 05:58 PM
Village of Ossining Police said this afternoon that the house is now boarded up and officials are unable to get in to investigate the cause as it's deemed too unsafe.
Krista Madsen August 22, 2013 at 09:39 AM
Further development in this fire story - the house was actually torn down last night.

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