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New Castle Firefighters Help Fight Blaze Near Nursing Home

Electrical fire destroyed maintenance building at Brandywine Nursing Home in Briarcliff.

Firefighters from all over northern Westchester fought a fire Thursday night at Brandywine Nursing Home in Briarcliff Manor.

The blaze destroyed a maintenance building on Sleepy Hollow Road, but no residents had to be evacuated.

Nine departments responded after the call came in at about 8:30 p.m., including Chappaqua and Millwood. Other fire departments included Briarcliff, Croton, Archville, Ossining, Pocantico Hills, Sleepy Hollow and Pleasantville. The blaze was knocked down before 10 p.m.

Briarcliff Manor Fire Chief Michael King said electrical issues following Thursday evening's storms may have caused the Elant at Brandywine Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Center maintenance building to catch fire.

The building, unoccupied at the time, has been condemned for several years, King stated.

He added it appears there may have been squatters using the building since it has been condemned, but there were no occupants inside during the fire.

Given the state of the building, King said it was not safe for the volunteer firefighters to enter the building, so it was demolished.

"I'm not going to put my men inside it, so we had to take it apart," he said.

An excavator was brought onto the scene at approximately 1 a.m. As of 1:30 a.m., King said he had been told it might take until 8 a.m. Friday for the building to be completely demolished.

The nursing home's residents were unaffected by the fire, the chief said.

Water pressure was the biggest issue, said Jay White, deputy chief of the Briarcliff Manor Fire Department. Firefighters set up two wading-pool-sized reservoirs at the intersection of Sleepy Hollow Road and the nursing home's driveway and a pumper truck halfway up the hill for the hoses. 

"It's not a huge fire, but the thing is there's no water pressure up there," said White.

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