Wednesday, November 7, 2018



Historic Pleasant Valley library burns; voters approve referendum to increase town funding

PLEASANT VALLEY- Fire Tuesday morning damaged the historic Pleasant Valley Library on Main Street in Pleasant Valley.

A little before 7 the Pleasant Valley Fire Department was dispatched to the library on Main Street (Route 44) for a report of smoke in the building. 

Fire Chief John Hickman said when they arrived he met with the library's cleaner who called in the report. 

Hickman encountered heavy smoke on the second floor of the building and immediately asked for a second alarm to be sounded to bring additional manpower and equipment.

The chief determined that the fire started in the basement and spread quickly because of the construction.  Balloon-type construction allowed the fire to travel up through the walls in rapid fashion. 

Town Supervisor Mark Figliossi said this is a big loss for the entire community.

“It’s a terrible loss especially the fact that they have been planning a major renovation and addition to the library,” Figliossi said. “This library is one of the busiest in the Mid-Hudson Valley and it’s going to be a shame that the people that utilize it for the many features that it offers won’t be able to use it for quite some time.”

County Legislator Don Sagliano, who represents Pleasant Valley and an employee of Arnoff Moving & Storage told that he spoke with owner Mike Arnoff Tuesday and the company, headquartered in Pleasant Valley, has offered to provide moving and storage services as needed to move and/or store items that the library is able to salvage.

A referendum on Tuesday’s ballot called for increasing the town's funding to the library from $360,000 a year to $440,000.  Pleasant Valley resident Brian Laffin said that "the library budget increase in Pleasant Valley just became much more important" in light of the damage caused by the fire.

The library referendum passed by a 2-1 margin.

 In addition to Pleasant Valley FD, units and firefighters from Arlington, LaGrange, Fairview, Roosevelt, Hughsonville, East Clinton, and Millbrook were on scene to battle the fire. 

Route 44 in the center of town was closed for traffic by the New York State Police.  Members of the Dutchess County Sheriff's Office Fire Investigation division were joined by the Dutchess County Fire Investigation team to determine the cause of the fire.

Mobile Life Support Services was on scene to assist the firefighters.


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