New Year’s Day Fire Destroys Mahopac Falls Building
A blaze whose origin was electrical in nature destroyed an auto repair business in Mahopac Falls as well as three second-floor apartments.
While patrolling through the hamlet’s business district around 8:30 a.m., Carmel Police Officer Richard Rosario observed a building located at 190 Myrtle Avenue surrounded by black smoke. Rosario summoned fire department personnel after noticing flames shooting through the side walls of the wood frame building.
The officer bolted from his police cruiser and entered the building knocking on apartment doors. No one was at home.
Mahopac Falls FD personnel arrived minutes later and Chiefs Scott Weber and Ted Finney sounded a general alarm while calling in mutual aid companies from Mahopac, Putnam Valley, Kent and Mohegan Lake.
An interior attack was made but as the fire began to weaken the old building the chiefs feared for the firefighters’ safety and an “all out” was signaled with long blasts of air horns on the engines working the fire.
The SLT Automotive Company suffered heavy fire, smoke and water damage as did the apartments necessitating Carmel Building Inspector Michael Carnazza to condemn the building.
Carmel Lt. Brian Karst said the cause of the fire was traced to an accidental electrical circuit overload following an investigation by Detective Michael Russo and members of the Putnam County Fire Investigation Team.
No injuries were reported.
Fire crews remained at the scene until 12:30 p.m.
Also assisting at the scene were Putnam Deputy Emergency Coordinators Doug Casey and Jeff Boyle.
Lt. Karst commended Officer Rosario for his “keen observations and quick actions that prevented the fire from spreading to an adjoining residence.”