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Fire Engulfs New Castle Home

Firefighters from three towns spent two hours knocking down the blaze at 9 Gray Rock Park Rd.

A home in New Castle was destroyed by flames early Sunday morning when a fire likely spread from the fireplace to the attic, said Mount Kisco Fire Department Chief Tom Jackson.

Firefighters from Mount Kisco responded to the call at 9 Gray Rock Park Rd. around 2 a.m. and, with the help of mutual aid from Bedford Hills and Chappaqua, knocked down the main body in half and hour. Altogether, two hours were spent extinguishing the flames. The house is now unlivable, said the chief.  

"Another one started by a fireplace," said Jackson, referring to an accidental fire last Thursday night in New Castle.    

This morning's blaze likely started in the fireplace, which the homeowner was using to heat his roughly 3,000-square-foot ranch that remained without power, and spread up the outside wall and into the attic. When units arrived at the scene, the flames were already through the roof.

Jackson said it was a "difficult fire to fight." 

No injuries were reported to the homeowner or firefighters. The rest of the family who lived in the home had previously moved out because of the lack of power.  

"Regular home fireplaces are not designed to be heating your house," cautioned Jackson. "Fireplaces in the living room are not designed to burn for days on end. They get too hot."

Millwood and Ossining fire departments covered the rest of Mount Kisco during the incident.

Lori November 04, 2012 at 05:18 PM
We live on Gray Rock, and thank goodness residents here had taken it upon ourselves to clear the trees blocking the road, otherwise Fire Trucks would not have been able to make it down the street. No thanks to the town, who appear to drive around just looking at what are obviously dead wires in downed trees and leaving residents stranded. Thank goodness for our neighbors who man the fire trucks and our neighbors who clear the streets, because even with a phone book full of tree companies, and a litany of independent electrical contractors fully capable of testing whether an electrical wire if live, government is clearly not going to protect us. Hopefully nobody gets hurt while they plug along begging for crumbs from a company proven to be unable to do much.
Beach Lover November 04, 2012 at 06:44 PM
1st off Lori, make it clear that you live in New Castle, because Mt Kisco DPW has done an EXCELLENT job of clearing trees & debris from our roadways. 2nd why would any licensed electrician in NY State risk his license being revoked to mess with CON ED'S lines?? Not to mention he his NOT equipped to handle such high voltage. 3rd you are correct about our MT KISCO FIRE DEPTS. They are OUTSTANDING & we are very proud & grateful for their service!!! Oh and FYI.....never assume a downed wire is dead.
Lori November 04, 2012 at 06:54 PM
First, its pretty clear from the article, that is entitled "Fire engulfs New Castle home", that Gray Rock Park Road is in New Castle, and I stated in the first sentence that I live on that road -- so maybe try reading. Second, I guess your roads are clear, and you are able to leave your neighborhood. My point is that there are capable people able to handle the problem -- and if the towns made the appropriate plans, licensed contractors could work on helping with clearing -- but thats just it -- thinking inside the box. Don't look for solutions, just check your little boxes. But I guess you are just very comfortable and safe able. Again try reading the article not just the comments, as the comments directly pertain the the substance of the article.
Lori November 04, 2012 at 06:56 PM
FYI -- I dont assume downed wires are dead -- but there are many people capable of making that determination, not just con ed "workers". I did not, and would not suggest that pay people touch down wires. Again- reading comprehension.
Beach Lover November 04, 2012 at 07:24 PM
Well sweetheart I can read & I do understand. You however seem quite bitter. I think you do think downed wires are dead. You clearly state in your comments that the town workers are "driving around looking at obviously dead wires". So tell me what does an obviously dead wire look like? There may very well be independent electricians capable of make those determination, but do you really think the town is going to just keep a handful of them on retainer " just in case". ? That costs $$ and would cause an increase in taxes. I think your the kind of person who would complain about pretty much anything, including keeping various electricians; tree workers etc.. on retainer "just incase". FYI back at you, who said anything about lay people touching downed wires? Now who's got a reading comprehension problem.
Lori November 04, 2012 at 09:41 PM
Clearly you have no idea of how risk management and contingency planning work. It involves securing "in case of" services. Being able to handle the costs associated with such services are one of the keys roles of government in ensuring an orderly response to emergencies. Also, if you had any idea of the situation here you would be quiet very quickly, in fact you would be embarrassed - indeed mortified -- about your comments and presumptions regarding the "kind of person" I am. FYI -- typos are not reading comprehensions issues; failing to read the title of the article you are commenting on, and then lobbing unfounded comments at others based on your failure to read carefully is a reading comprehension issue. ALSO -- writing in all caps does not clarify one's point, it merely accentuates poor writing,
Beach Lover November 04, 2012 at 10:07 PM
You seem to know so much about risk management & contingency planning, so why are you wasting your time on here? Run for your local government & make the changes that you think will make for a smoother disaster next time. As far as your situation, your right, I don't know what's going on there but I have a pretty good idea based on ALL the articles you have taken the time to comment on. FYI...... I don't care what you think of writing in caps, I LIKE IT.
Aurorahunter November 04, 2012 at 10:07 PM
Lori,you have eloquently summarized the negligence of New Castle town officials to prepare, plan and execute a proper response to disaster. Earlier today I read that fully one third of ALL impassable roads in Westchester are in our town. This is not by chance. It's an outright failure to act. You are absolutely correct in noting that this is a tremendous public safety problem. If anyone was killed in that fire...or if anyone suffers injury before all roads are accessible by first responders, I fear the town will shoulder significant blame and need to fight serious lawsuits. This storm was unprecedented, but it was far from a secret. I'm appalled that our officials squandered the advance notice we had and didn't attempt to line up resources until the damage was done. We pay the highest taxes in the nation. At the very least we deserve competence, common sense and a modicum of action from the people we elect. Look for me on the ballot next time:)
Aurorahunter November 04, 2012 at 10:15 PM
BTW, Beach Lover...you're proving the point. Mt. Kisco did an excellent job executing their disaster plan. That stands in stark contrast to New Castle. If our town had a plan, Lori and the rest of us NC residents wouldn't be trying to come up with creative solutions on our own...feasible or not. Thanks for pointing out the difficulties and liabilities in assessing the status of downed wires
Lori November 04, 2012 at 10:21 PM
Thank you so much for your kind comments. I will definitely look for you neighbor!!!
Lori November 04, 2012 at 10:22 PM
of course you do. My point exactly
Concerned Citizen November 05, 2012 at 12:38 AM
It puzzles me that towns north of White Plains only have volunteer firemen. Many of these firemen have other full time jobs which means a slower response time. Why don't we have paid firefighters which would shorten the response time and possibly reduce these tragic consequences. Thankfully no lives were lost this time.
Lori November 05, 2012 at 12:46 AM
Just my opinion, but our volunteers are top notch and prevented tragedy here. They did an awesome job. No complaint -- they are competent and always seems to make it to where they need to be.
Aurorahunter November 05, 2012 at 05:28 AM
Agreed. We have amazingly devoted and highly capable volunteers. They aren't the issue...it's the town and the utilities clearing the roads so first responders and their equipment can get to where help is needed.
Patti November 05, 2012 at 12:37 PM
I live in New Castle and was able to have eight large trees cleared from my property by Thursday. It is ridiculous that I can have ten licensed tree workers at my house to clear trees which are not blocking anything while so many roads are impassable. The town and ConEd need to work with private companies during a state of emergency. Sadly, I think I know why they do not. We are talking about risking lives and if they will not take every precaution to do that, they should be held accountable.
ahofer November 05, 2012 at 01:21 PM
Probably because nobody wants to pay taxes to support ANY government services.
GRPR November 05, 2012 at 03:08 PM
Beach Lover, well, sweetheart or maybe sweetheart is not the way I should address you, I too, can read and I do understand. I believe that under extenuating circumstances such as these, the town should have a contingency plans that include using independent electricians and tree companies. If not for the bravery of the people that actually removed the trees, the fire department would have been unable to get down the street and perhaps this story would have a complete different and horrific ending. By the way, an electrician did state the lines were in fact dead. THIS STREET HAD NO EGRESS. I too can be rude when necessary. I must appear bitter to you as well, but I do live on the street and even if I didn’t, just hearing about this would be appalling. That fire could have very easily spread if the fire departments were unable to get to the fire in a timely fashion. The safety of your family at whatever cost should be a priority. Apparently you are without family and alone because for the life of me, I cannot imagine a person with children actually making the statements you did.
B November 05, 2012 at 03:40 PM
Patti I believe you are referring to the fact that non-union workers are not welcome to work on public works in the Town of New Castle. The hostility shown by the electrical workers union to out of state workers arriving to help our towns is nothing short of outrageous. The response, or rather the lack thereof, to the emergency facing our town is nothing short of negligent. I pray that nobody loses their life in New Castle due to the failure of our town's government to do their job both before and after the storm. A week has passed and the town is still clearing trees from roads. The actual restoration of telephone poles and wires is such a distant hope for so many New Castle residents that they have simply abandoned their homes in search of normalcy elsewhere. Lori bravo to you for illuminating the failings of the New Castle government while simultaneously recognizing the hard work performed by the men on the ground in both New Castle and Mt. Kisco. It is sad that well run towns bordering New Castle on all sides are back to normal soon after the storm while we are barely surviving day to day. I wish I could gin up more optimism but I fear that the one-party rule in New Castle will guaranty that nobody will be held politically accountable for the mishandling of Sandy.
billy November 05, 2012 at 11:25 PM
i must say im a mount kisco firemen and we are really great at what we do and we try are best to service our fire district
Lori November 05, 2012 at 11:41 PM
Thank you so much sir. You are a hero and I believe that you and the other fire fighters saved our homes and in my husband's case our lives. THANK YOU!!
GRPR November 06, 2012 at 12:10 AM
Billy, I too am so grateful for your dedication. I watched as you and all of the other fireman worked selflessly to extinguish this fire as quickly as possible. You are all true professionals and I really do believe your actions were heroic. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
billy November 07, 2012 at 04:28 PM
noo problem at all we are always there and willing to help anybody in need
Sharan November 13, 2012 at 03:37 AM
To Billy and his colleagues: It was my home that burned that night, and we are extraordinarily grateful to the three departments that so swiftly responded. My husband was asleep on the sofa and at the time of the fire, there was actually NO fire in the fireplace! The fire marshall explained that the exterior of the fireplace was not built to code and was basically turning to kindling every single time we lit a fire. It was a very rare night, I had taken my three children, one of whom is special needs, to my sister's home for warmth. We were dog sitting for a friend and that dog jumped on my husband and awoke him at 2am. We have an amazing neighborhood and tremendous support from the community. I cannot express our gratitude enough; we are lucky to be alive and extremely thankful the trees were cleared by those who live on the block. Let's all raise our glasses to a new year ahead and hopefully a very safe one too.

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