[UPDATED] Route 22 Structure Fire Still Burning After More Than 3 Hours

Firefighters from several different companies—across Dutchess, Fairfield (CT), Putnam and Westchester—were on the scene.

Updated, 1 p.m. The blaze at , at 1639 Route 22 in Southeast, reportedly began around 7:30 a.m. in the second row of units.

Additional fire apparatus was arriving at the scene throughout the morning and early afternoon. The first row of units, visible from the roadway, was not affected, according to Matt Freehill, manager of the facility.

"It's a horrible tragedy," he said. "All I can tell you now is it's the second building. How much of it, I honestly and truly don't know."

One of the dozens of responders at the scene confirmed that there were no injuries. Reports suggest that the fire may have began during work to a roof in the 900-unit facility, which Freehill confirmed was happening Friday morning.

"They're not letting us back there," he said when asked if he had seen the flames, as firefighters continued to battle the blaze around 11:10 a.m. "There's not a lot we can see. I don't know if it's the whole building."

The affected building contains several hundred units, most of which are rented, Freehill said. He hopes to speak with customers who have property in the facility as soon as possible, but he said the process could take a few days.

Responders came from all over—from Dutchess, Fairfield (CT), Putnam and Westchester counties—to battle the smoke and flames. Companies included but were not limited to , Carmel, Croton Falls, Mahopac and Patterson, plus Ball Pond and Danbury in Connecticut.

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Members of the Putnam County Fire Investigation Team were there, too.

The stretch of Route 22, between Route 312 and Doansburg Road, that officials shut down around 10:30 a.m. was still closed at 1 p.m. Prior to the closure, motorists experienced delays because one of the southbound lanes was blocked.

A firefighter at the scene told Patch around 12:30 p.m. that the fire was still not completely under control and that a portion of the north end of the building—where the fire likely originated—had collapsed. 

He said that responders were pulling apart the fire, section by section, in a "meticulous" fashion because so many different materials—including a vehicle in one unit—were involved and they want to make sure it's completely extinguished. He estimated that the the efforts would continue for several hours, into the afternoon and possibly the evening.

Mich June 15, 2012 at 02:16 PM
Pictures of fire trucks? No mention of which building, no photos of the building. Useless article, useless pictures.
Peter Carey June 15, 2012 at 02:41 PM
@Mich ..it is an active fire. You want her to put on turnout gear and grab hosee to get pics? And suffice it to say that the storage is all people need to know right now. They dont need exact unit numbers.
Peter Benfield June 15, 2012 at 02:49 PM
Mitch is right. Please give more info. I have storage there!
Peter Benfield June 15, 2012 at 02:51 PM
Peter Carey, No, she doesn't have to go into the fire scene, but some pictures of the fire itself and what part of the complex is burning would be helpful.
Ashley Tarr (Editor) June 15, 2012 at 02:52 PM
Hi everyone. Thanks for commenting. The fire is ongoing and I am waiting here for more information. Responders have been battling the fire for about three hours. I will update as soon a possible.
Ashley Tarr (Editor) June 15, 2012 at 03:02 PM
The fire is not visible from the front of the facility, which is where members of the press are now.
Genie Keating June 15, 2012 at 03:14 PM
Ashley - thanks, as always for being on the spot and delivering the news as it happens! Please stay safe -
John T. June 15, 2012 at 03:23 PM
Great job as usual Ashley
Linda M. E. Yannone June 15, 2012 at 04:14 PM
Wow. I was always so sad that that structure was places there. The view of the mountains from 22 to the West was magnificent and remarkable another blessing for my home town of Southeast/Brewster.
John T. June 15, 2012 at 04:30 PM
great pictures Ashley
babypotato June 15, 2012 at 04:49 PM
thanks for the frequent updates....glad i have nothing stored there, looks like a lot of loss. Is there any traffic advice for the area??
Ashley Tarr (Editor) June 15, 2012 at 04:52 PM
Thanks for inquiring! Not sure about official traffic advice, but I can tell you that that stretch of Route 22 is still closed. About to update the story now.
rich bukovsky June 15, 2012 at 08:23 PM
Really?!!!!! Mich and Pete,,,,,,Ashley was doing the best she could with what ever means possible ,,,were u there no don't think so i was and your worried about unit numbers ,,,what about the firefighters risking there lives to put out the fire and try there best to save all of your stuff..............there was too much going on at an active fire and nothing was really visiable from the road,,it was all the building behind the office .........if your stuff was in the fire or even if it wasn't you would be able to do anything about it.....fire has no mercy.......it sucks real bad when there's a fire i know cause i lost everything about 7 yrs ago when my house caught fire ,,,be thankful and grateful if the fire missed your stuff ,,,,and truly sorry for those who lost there's......
Diane Callahan June 15, 2012 at 09:09 PM
Ashley, you do a great job! The Patch is always the first place I go for real local news.
Lavender June 15, 2012 at 09:43 PM
I agree with Diane. It's nice to have a source for local information that actually covers the news in this area, unlike other big newspapers to our south who claim to "cover" this area but don't. And with stories like this that affect a large part of the population (due to the closure of Rt 22) it is especially important to have such a good source for information. Thanks Ashley!
Ashley Tarr (Editor) June 15, 2012 at 11:41 PM
Thank you so much for all the comments, everyone! I really appreciate your feedback. And here's the last update for today: As our bulletin at the top of the site states, Route 22 was reopened this evening.
Marty Freeman June 16, 2012 at 12:35 AM
Would you like to borrow my glasses?
Rich Parker June 16, 2012 at 12:49 PM
Great photos Ashley, and good work getting our local news to us once again! Thanks for what you do.


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