The cause of a fire that destroyed much of the Goldens Bridge fire house Monday morning is still unknown, but it was the quick thinking of a volunteer that saved some of the station’s equipment.
Mike MeLillo, a volunteer firefighter and treasurer of the fire commissioners for the Goldens Bridge Fire District, braved billowing smoke to save at least two of the station’s fire trucks and other apparatus.
At least three other fire trucks and other apparatus were damaged beyond repair in the fire.
MeLillo was taken to a nearby hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation. He was released and later returned to the scene to help.
Joe Brancati, chairman of the Board of Fire Commissioners for Goldens Bridge Fire District, said he was on duty with MeLillo on Monday morning when he smelled smoke while working out in the station gymnasium at about 9:30 a.m.
When he saw the smoke coming through the heating vents, he alerted MeLillo.
Brancati and MeLillo investigated the boiler room but found no problems. But the source of the fire quickly became apparent when they returned to the main part of the fire house.
“I turned around and looked behind me and there was a wall of smoke coming toward me,” Brancati said. “Mike put on his gear and started moving the apparatus out. Then there was an orange glow, an explosion, shattering glass, and I decided it was time for me to get out of there.”
Fire departments from Bedford (Bedford Hills), Lewisboro (Vista and South Salem), North Salem (Croton Falls), Yorktown Heights, Mount Kisco and Brewster, among others, assisted in battling the fire. When crews arrived, flames were shooting out of the roof of the building.
The fire was brought under control once the Bedford Hills ladder truck arrived and was able to position hoses above the flames.
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