Fire Police On Duty
In And Around Putnam/Northern Westchester Counties
Briarcliff Fire Police under the command of Captain Gilmete and Lt. Linda Urban, assisted with road closures on North Date Road and Pleasantville Road for the Tough Man Triathlon bike event. Also assisting was Lt. Robert Cerrone.
09/07/14
Patterson, Lake Carmel, and Putnam Lake Fire Departments were called to a truck fire on the east bound exit ramp from I 84 to Route 311. Upon arrival the pickup, towing a vacation trailer, was fully involved. Fire police from Patterson and Lake Carmel closed the ramp and expedited an unexpected hasty departure across 311 by two engines from the scene, when they were called under mutual aid to assist at a house trailer fire in a neighboring town.
04/27/14
An 8:30 p.m. fire broke out in La Russell's Laundry-Cleaners, located on Route 52 in Lake Carmel. Although out of business for some time, it was reported the building still contained many dry cleaned items which forced abandonment of an initial interior attack. Of the two apartments located above, one was not occupied, and the other quickly evacuated. Lake Carmel Fire police had to shut down Route 52 for approximately 4 ½ hours. Carmel, Kent, Brewster, Patterson were also assisting at the scene along with Carmel Volunteer Ambulance. The cause of the blaze at this time remains under investigation.
All photos by
Frank Becerra Jr.
Journal News
03/24/14
The Putnam County Fire Police Response Team assisted Peekskill Fire and Police with traffic at the funeral of 20 year firefighter Kevin Bristol who died of an apparent heart attack after returning from fighting a kitchen fire.
All photos by
Joe Larese
Journal News
03/06/14
An electrical problem was the probable cause of a 9:30 a.m. fire in the Goldens Bridge Firehouse. The actual fire was confined to one section, but the entire building was heavily damaged by water and smoke. Two firefighters in the building at the time of the blaze managed to save several pieces apparatus but three were lost including a rescue truck containing all of the Goldens Bridge Fire Police equipment. Fire departments from Bedford Hills, Vista, South Salem, Croton Falls, Yorktown Heights, Mount Kisco, Brewster departments, among others, assisted in battling the blaze. A tanker shuttle using portable pools was the only water source. Croton Falls fire police assisted Goldens Bridge in turning tankers and in shutting down Route 138 for most of the day. The fire was brought under control by about 10:30 a. m.
All photos by
Frank Becerra
Journal News
02/24/14
Mahopac Falls Fire Department members were readying themselves for a SUCBA drill when they were toned out for a “car into a pole" on Rt. 6N, delaying the drill and triggering an immediate department response. To protect operations, fire police shut one lane diverting northbound traffic around the crash. No injuries were reported.
02/11/14
Photo By Terence Corcoran/ Journal News
Photo By Terence Corcoran/ Journal News
The Putnam County Fire Police Response Team was summoned to assist Garrison FD fire police with the closing of Route 9 around 8:00 AM while GFD operated at a three vehicle personal injury car crash involving a Jeep Wrangler, cargo van and car. The driver of the Jeep was ejected and the van driver required extrication. The female driver of the involved car was less seriously injured. Two helicopters were also requested to assist the first due medics. Cold Spring FD and Continental Village’s rescue initially closed 9 north (9 & 301) and south (9 & 403) of the scene awaiting the county and Patterson’s fire police trucks. Shortly before the arrival of Patterson, assigned to Rt. 403, CVFD’s rescue was dispatched to a second crash just south of their location. Route 9 was closed for almost four hours.
12/19/13
The Patterson Fire Police Company was requested under mutual aid to assist the Sherman, CT Fire Police in honoring Airman Todd James "TJ" Lobraico, a 22-year-old graduate of New Fairfield High School who was serving in the U.S. Air Force and who died while on active duty in Afghanistan. He was a resident of Sherman and was a 2008 graduate at New Fairfield High. Because positioning the two tower ladders that supported the flag on the narrow shoulder opposite the firehouse could create a hazard, Patterson maintained traffic control for the entire day until after the internment and along the procession route.
09/13/13
A Toyota 4Runner travelling south on Route 22, with a reported mechanical problem causing it to accelerate, struck both a north bound Audi, and a Subaru in which a four year old boy was riding with his grandmother, head on. A couple in the Toyota, a female driving the Subaru, and the seriously injured grandmother and child, who suffered massive trauma, were extricated by Brewster FD and transported to area hospitals. The NY State Police Accident Reconstruction Team did a full investigation in several downpours, forcing the road to be closed for over six hours. Ten members of the Putnam County Fire Response Team were requested and assisted Brewster fire police with re-routing traffic. (At the same time Mahopac fire police were summoned to a suicide the team would eventually be called to early the next morning. See the story following below.)
06/27/13
Responding to a call that a Mahopac man shot fatally shot himself in the chest with a shot gun, responders found that his home was packed with over 100 guns and ammunition. Called a “survivalist” by some who knew him, the ex-Marine also had a quantity of military ordinance and explosives including 20 mm and 76 rounds, 76 mm artillery shells, improvised grenades, 50 cal. Armor piercing bullets, blasting caps, thermite, gunpowder, etc. There was also a full size British tank in his backyard. Carmel PD evacuated neighboring homes and requested assistance from the Mahopac FD, PC Sheriff’s Office, PC Bureau of Emergency Services, NY State Police, Westchester Bomb Squad, and the 725th Ordnance Disposal Unit out of Fort Drum, NJ. The Mahopac and PC Fire Police maintained an outer perimeter causing East Lake Boulevard to be closed to through traffic for approximately 20 hours. The man’s death has been ruled a suicide.
06/27/13

Photo: T. Corcoran / The Journal News
Cortland Engine Co. along with their Fire Police assisted police with isolating a haz-mat call at a private residence in Montrose, at 18 Orchard Street. Located off Route 9A also known as Albany Post Road, the home was located behind Cole’s Market. James St. was also closed. Picric acid, an explosive, was found in the basement of a home of a deceased chemistry professor. Two neighboring homes were also evacuated as a precaution.
06/03/13
Hundreds of bike riders participated in the 2013 Putnam Cycling Classic which was part of the prestigious Union Cycliste Internationale World Cycling Tour. The ride, which started in Cold Spring, ran across the entire county to Patterson, returning to the start, for a total of 79 miles. Along with police agencies, a total of 25 fire police were deployed: 16 were members of the Putnam County Fire Police Response Team, 6 from Putnam County fire departments, and 3 from Dutchess County manning 14+ posts. They had the use of 6 dedicated fire police vehicles and coned virtually every dangerous intersection along the route. Because of the distance involved, incidental communication relied mainly on cell phones.
05/05/13
Putnam Lake FD was notified a oil tank in a vacant cellar was leaking fuel which was escaping the house, running along Haviland Drive into a catch basin, ending up empting into Putnam Lake. Putnam Lake and Patterson FD fire police remained on duty for most of the afternoon until the condition was mitigated. Ball Pond FD & New Fairfield FD, along with DEC, Health Department, highway departments and other agencies also responded.
03/07/13
Pawling along with Patterson FD responded to an early morning propane gas fire in a heater inside Hannaford’s Supermarket off Route 22. Fire police from both departments secured the parking lot while the fire was quickly extinguished.
01/31/13
Mahopac Fire Police were forced to close Route 6 from Drewville Road to Crane Road about an hour to permit the rescue, extrication, and transport of two women. One car which slid on black ice, crossed into the oncoming lane striking the second vehicle. Both cars, after colliding, came to rest against a guard rail which prevented them from careening down an embankment into to the West Branch Reservoir. The condition of the drivers was not available but both were transported to area hospitals.

Photos by Eric Gross
01/27/13

The Patterson Fire Department was dispatched to a major LP gas leak at the Fox Run Condominiums located off Bullet Hole Road. Two 100 pound tanks located between two units were struck by a snow plow causing them to vent into the air. Fire police and sheriff’s deputies shut down access roads and evacuated residents from both units as safety measures. The department shut off the gas and after about two hours residents were allowed to return to their apartments. As an aside, as the fire police were picking up their cones one resident reported that it is not uncommon for folks to step out on their balconies to “catch a smoke and flip butts over the rail”!
01/16/13
During the height of Hurricane Sandy, Patterson responded a large number of calls of trees down, structure fires, and other requests for assistance. Fire police closed many roads, Route 311 being the most inconvenient to residents, since it is the main east-west thoroughfare in the area. A single large tree which fell on transmission lines the Hamlet of Patterson caused a major power outage. The same tree also landed on a house making it uninhabitable.
10/30/12
The members of the Briarcliff Manor Fire Police had to get up early to be on post by 5:00 A.M. for assisting with traffic involving a triathlon that involved over 1,000 bikers. (NOTE: It would seem they wear color-coordinated foot gear for non-emergency calls.)
9/30/12
A 7:15 a.m. fire at Uncle Bob’s Self Storage on Route 22 in Brewster required over 100 firefighters from over a dozen fire departments in Putnam, Westchester, Dutchess, and Fairfield (CT) Counties to extinguish. The fire involved 20 individual units located in the second rear building, which housed about 40% of the 900 units. The fire forced the closing of Rt.22, the main north-south artery on the east side of Putnam County. No less than 15 fire police from the Putnam and Dutchess County Fire Police Teams (requested under mutual aid) handled the road closing, re-routing of tankers (shuttling water from approximately ¼ mile away), and the turning around of all south bound tractor-trailers that had to be sent back several miles north to circumvent the scene. Fortunately, several narrow winding roads paralleling 22, permitted smaller vehicles to continue south to eventually get back on 22 and to reach Interstates 684 & 84. Some fire police were on duty for over nine hours both in Brewster and Patterson. By the start of the Friday evening rush hour, the road was reopened, but not before the congestion had spread to virtually all area roads in the Westchester, Putnam, and Connecticut. It took several more hours to before traffic patterns returned to normal. The cause of the fire is under investigation but there was a report that a workman who was on the premises could have sparked the blaze.

06/15/12

Click here for information on the follow-up meeting for the Putnam County Response Team, and the Dutchess County Response Team

Carmel Fire Dept. responded to a fire in five bedroom house at 2:53 a.m. that claimed the lives of the owner, a Larchmont (NY) police Captain, his wife, and two teenage daughters. Only his 20 year old son managed to escape. According to reports the officer died attempting to rescue the rest of his family. The entire residence was totally involved upon arrival of the FD preventing an interior attack. The structure was located on Wyndham Lane, a dead end street. Carmel PD relieved Carmel fire police to cordon off the area and control the hoard of media and on-lookers that flocked to the scene. Fire police operated on site support of their department, also shuttling personnel and equipment between the department headquarters, and assisting with salvage operations. A cadaver dog was employed in the search for the victims, the last of which was not located until after 8:00 a.m. A police dog reportedly found no trace of accelerants but according to the police chief, “We have to treat it like it might be a possible crime.” Fire department sources suggest the recent light weight construction, prefabricated glued and clamped components, although stronger than regular beams, would contribute to the fast spread of a fire. Records show the house was built in the late 1990s. This fire is the worst in the area that anyone in the fire service can remember.

05/01/12

After a lengthy investigation, the cause of the fire was traced to a discarded cigarette that smoldered for hours before ultimately igniting the mulch surrounding the structure. The wind spread fire up the exterior walls to the roof, attic, and interior.
Added 07/13/12

Carmel fire police closed Route 52 from Vink Drive to Towners Road to permit workers from Central Hudson Electric & Gas to repair a gas line ruptured by a contractor while installing a new water main. The Lake Carmel Fire Dept. was called under mutual aid to assist at the scene.

All photos by Frank Becerra Jr./The Journal News

03/08/12

The Miry Brook Fire Police were first on the scene of a plane crash off Briar Ridge Road in Ridgefield, CT. The plane clipped a tree and flipped upside down narrowly missing a private residence when it came to rest in front of the home. The pilot survived and was rushed to Danbury Hospital. Fire police immediately secured both ends of the road allowing Ridgefield Police to begin their investigation. When jurisdiction was established, Ridgefield fire police took over the road closure, working in two hour shifts at all posts. After fuel recovery was complete and the scene deemed safe, the fire department turned control of the crash site to the RPD, who maintained security until the plane was recovered the following morning.

All photos by Craig Dibble

10/01/11

Pawling FD requested from neighboring Patterson Fire Police, under mutual aid, to assist their squad with traffic control at their Annual Parade & Inspection.
All photos by S. Boo

08/05/11


Photo by Walt Wieland
Members of Ridgefield (CT) Fire Police organize compartments and wash -'n-dry their Car 7, in preparation for a parade in Katonah.

06/10/11


Photo by Walt Wieland

Photo by The Putnam County Courier

Photo by The Putnam County Courier
Around 4:00 PM one of the worse storms in recent memory struck Patterson and the surrounding areas of Putnam and Dutchess Counties with hurricane force winds, rain, hail, and lighting, the latter striking a wooden commercial building on the corner of Locust Street & Rt. 311 in the Hamlet, setting it on fire. Two adjoining commercial buildings, including a structure once used as the Patterson firehouse, were also destroyed. Compounding the situation, primary lines and trees were down on both sides of the fire blocking Route 311. It was reported 20,000 residents were out of power as a result of the storm and virtually every surrounding road was blocked by wires, poles, and downed trees. Seven mutual aid companies and three Putnam County Teams were called; the Fire Investigation, Haz-Mat, and the Fire Police. The fire police were faced with the daunting task rerouting all traffic on both sides of the scene; crowd control at the scene; and informing parents attempting to pick up their children from the local school and day care center, that "they had to park walk". Route 311, the only east west road through the Hamlet, was impassable for about eight hours stranding thousands of motorists.

06/09/11


Photo by The Putnam County Courier

Photo by The Putnam County Courier

Photo by The Putnam County Courier

Photo by Frank Becerra Jr.
The Journal News

Photo by Frank Becerra Jr.
The Journal News
Croton Falls Fire Police at their 2011 Inspection

Photo by Frank Becerra Jr.
The Journal News
The Putnam County Fire Police Response team was requested to assist with traffic control for the line of duty death of Poughkeepsie city police officer John Falcone. The day began with a 8:30 A.M. briefing at the Putnam County Bureau of Emergency Services conducted by Commissioner Robert McMahon. Three team units were formed around three fire police units; the bureau's BOES 4, Lake Carmel's 17-8-1, and Patterson's 22-8-1. The entire Hamlet of Carmel was shut down for about seven hours to accommodate the estimated 7,000 mourners.

02/24/11


Photo by Frank Becerra Jr.
The Journal News

Photo by Frank Becerra Jr.
The Journal News

Photo by Frank Becerra Jr.
The Journal News

Photo by Frank Becerra Jr.
The Journal News

Photo by Frank Becerra Jr.
The Journal News

Photo by Frank Becerra Jr.
The Journal News

Photo by Frank Becerra Jr.
The Journal News
Patterson FD responded to a crash on Route 22 shortly after 8:00 am, involving a GMC Denali which ran into the rear of a tractor trailer, catching fire. Both drivers were injured with the Denali driver seeming to be the most serious. Both were transported to Danbury Hospital. Patterson fire police, with assistance from Putnam Lake, isolated the section of the road using Old Route 22 (to Route 164) as a bypass thus relieving the rush hour back-up. The Rt. 22 turn lanes for Route 164 were later coned to form a temporary north bound lane and allowing for resumption of through traffic. The north bound lane was then available for operations and accident reconstruction by the Putnam County Sheriff's Department.

02/10/11


Photo by Frank Becerra Jr.
The Journal News

Photo by Frank Becerra Jr.
The Journal News
Somers firefighters battled an early morning fire that damaged the Imperial Wok Restaurant at Heritage Hills in Somers. Firefighters from Croton Falls, Bedford Hills, and Yorktown assisted at the scene. Because the fire was around 4:00 AM vehicular traffic was minimal Somers Fire Police only had to be concerned with perimeter security.

All photos by Frank Becerra Jr. / The Journal News

01/16/11

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