UDPATE 6:15 P.M. GOLDENS BRIDGE, N.Y. -- The Westchester County Cause and Origin Team and the New York State Police have determined the fire that damaged the Goldens Bridge Fire Department was accidental in nature, according to the state police.
At this time, the fire is believed to have originated from a faulty electrical connection to a fire truck while parked inside of the firehouse, the police said.
The cause of fire remains under investigation, police said.
One firefighter was transported to the hospital for smoke inhalation.
Route 138 remains closed as the investigation continues.
GOLDENS BRIDGE, N.Y. -- The cause of a blaze that destroyed much of the Goldens Bridge firehouse Monday morning is still unknown, but it was the quick thinking of a volunteer that saved some of the station's equipment.
Mike MeLillo, a volunteer firefighter and treasurer of the fire commissioners for the Goldens Bridge Fire District, braved billowing smoke to save at least two of the station's fire trucks and other apparatus.
At least three other fire trucks and other apparatus were damaged beyond repair in the blaze.
MeLillo was taken to a nearby hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation. He was released and later returned to the scene to help.
Ed Brancati, chairman of the Board of Fire Commissioners for Goldens Bridge Fire District, said he was on duty with MeLillo on Monday morning when he smelled smoke while working out in the station gym at about 9:30 a.m. When he saw the smoke coming through the heating vents, he alerted MeLillo
Brancati and MeLillo investigated the boiler room but found no problems. But the source of the blaze quickly became apparent when they returned to the main part of the fire house.
“I turned around and looked behind me and there was a wall of smoke coming toward me,” Brancati said. “Mike put on his gear and started moving the apparatus out. Then there was an orange glow, an explosion, shattering glass, and I decided it was time for me to get out of there.”
Fire departments from Bedford (Bedford Hills), Lewisboro (Vista and South Salem), North Salem (Croton Falls), Yorktown Heights, Mount Kisco and Brewster, among others, assisted in battling the blaze. When crews arrived, flames were shooting out of the roof of the building.
The fire was brought under control once the Bedford Hills ladder truck arrived and was able to position hoses above the flames.
“The response has been absolutely fantastic,” Brancati added. “The county’s presence has been great. Now we have to figure out how to get back from this – and I believe we will.”
The Goldens Bridge Fire Department and other departments planned to meet at 2 p.m. Monday to discuss the next steps, including how the department will cover its current area with limited resources. They also planned to discuss where to store the department’s remaining fire apparatuses.
Local and state officials are expected to hold a news conference regarding the fire later on Monday. State police are leading an investigation into the cause of the fire.
The firehouse is located at 254 Waccabuc Road on Route 138.
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