January 16, 2012

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More than 24 hours after fire started, main body of fire is knocked down

CORNWALL – Additional firefighting crews were called in Monday to fight the fire at the old factory complex at 2 Mill Street in the Town of Cornwall. by 1 p.m., fire officials declared the main body of the fire had been knocked down.

The fire continues as firefighters have problems with water. A water main broke in the Village of cornwall-on-Hudson that feeds the town and hydrants are frozen up, requiring mutual aid to call in additional tanker trucks with water to pour on the building.

Fire raged for hours Sunday into Monday in the massive former mill factory building at 2 Mill Street in the Town of Cornwall.  The blaze broke out shortly before 11 a.m. Sunday and raged all day long as fire departments from across Orange County battling the flames.

Smoke was visible as far away as New York City to the south and at from 1,000 feet above the Columbia County Airport at Ghent.

Two firefighters were reported taken to the hospital for treatment of injuries.

The seven alarm fire engulfed the building which ranged from two to four stories.

Robert Henriksen of Cornwall described to what he saw as he watched the flames engulf the building.

“You could see the firemen trying to fight it back, people on the roof, cutting holes on the roof trying to water it out and the wind just kept on pushing them back and spreading the fire, from my vantage point, just deeper and deeper the warehouse,” Henriksen said. “They couldn’t see if from the top of the roof, but I was looking right into the warehouse windows on the bottom and I even had to call 911 because some of them were cutting the roof and the fire was coming up from the bottom.”

The building originally housed a carpet mill, recounts Cornwall Town Supervisor Kevin Quigley.

“It first housed the Firthcliffe Carpet Mill Company in the early 20th century and later became Majestic Weaving, a textile mill, for many years before that went out of business”, Quigley said.  

The building remained vacant for years until it was purchased and converted into a facility rented by many tenants.

Quigley said that the building now contained a candle making company, woodworking, and a bakery, among others. He estimated as many as 20 businesses operated there.


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