UPDATE (2:30 p.m.) -A fire that brought heavy smoke with it tore through a one-story home in Nanuet early this morning, doing extenive damage. Officals say the home did not have working smoke detectors.
The fire at 5 Fredric St. brought out volunteer firefighters from Nanuet and seven other nearby fire departments to battle the 7 a.m. blaze. Nanuet Fire Cheif Chris Koester said residents of the home escaped injury and no firefighters were hurt battling the fire.
Koester said that when he arrived at the home just off Old Nyack Turnpike he could see smoke and flame filling the house, with flames soon starting to shoot out of the attic. He said the fire was initially reported as a boiler or furnace fire, but the cause of the fire is under investigation by members of the Clarkstown Fire Inspector's office.
This afternoon, fire inspectors said the fire was detected when one of the two residents of the home was awakened by the smell of something burning. He opened the door to the room containing the home's boiler and smoked poured out of the room.
Fire inspectors confirmed that while the home had smoke detectors, they were not in working order. While the boiler is the focus of attention from the fire, officials said the investigation into the fire is continuing.
The fire closed Old Nyack Turnpike to traffic during the morning rush. The road is a busy connector that links Pascack Road and leads to Route 59.
The fire at the one-story brick home did not affect neigbhoring homes. The house sustained heavy damage inside and the roof of the home was destroyed.
Koester estimated that about 70 volunteer firefighters were involved in the incident, including volunteers who assisted on Fredric Street and were on standby at the Nanuet Fire Department in case of other emergencies.
Assisting departments were West Nyack, Orangeburg, Pearl River, New City, Nyack, Spring Valley and Hillcrest. Members of Rockland Paramedics and two crews from Nanuet Ambulance were at the scene in case of injury.
Clarkstown police said that Old Nyack Turnpike is again open to traffic.
Rockland County Fire and Emergency Services Director Gordon Wren Jr. today urged Rockland residents to make sure their homes have working smoke detectors, and that if they are battery-powered make sure the detectors have fresh batteries.
He said Rockland County has been hit with a rash of fatal and near-fatal fires in which homes either did not have smoke detectors or the detectors were not working.
A house fire on Fredric Street has heavily damaged the small, single-family home, with flames through the roof.
The neighborhood, a half-block off Old Nyack Turnpike opposite a professional center complex, was filled with firefighters and equipment. In addition to the Nanuet Fire Department, departments responded from Nyack, New City and Pearl River, both to help fight the blaze and to stand by in case of other emergencies.
There were no injuries. None of the adjoining houses were affected.
Old Nyack Turnpike could be closed for another hour; Route 59 is the alternate.