The call came in at 10:09 Wednesday morning: a major fire was in progress at a home on Magnolia Place, off Forest Avenue.
The call came in at 10:09 Wednesday morning: a major fire was in progress at a home on Magnolia Place, off Forest Avenue. Within minutes of their arrival, Lt. Kurt Tietjen of the Rye Fire Department knew they’d need mutual aid from neighboring fire departments.
“We automatically receive some assistance — an engine from Harrison, a fast team from Mamaroneck — when we have an actual fire,” said Tietjen. “But as we got a better handle on the situation, we asked for more help.” Port Chester sent an engine and ladder truck, Harrison sent a ladder truck as well.
Rye’s emergency services went into action soon after receiving a call from the alarm company that morning. Two family members, both college-age, were asleep at home when they were awakened by the smoke alarm. They called 911 and got safely out of the burning house with their three pets. Their two younger siblings were at school and their parents had left for the day.
While early reports said that the fire began in the attic, the RFD said that in fact it started on the first or second floor and spread to the attic. The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.
One Rye firefighter was injured when the ceiling came down on him, reported Tietjen. He was taken to the hospital but was released the same day.
The fire destroyed half of the second floor and attic and caused extensive damage throughout, said Tietjen.
“While fighting the fire, we were running out of water and had to go through other backyards to get to hydrants,” said Tietjen. “Third-floor sprinklers, which are required in Harrison and many other communities, would have been a big help in containing a fire like this.”
The residence sustained so much damage that it will be many months before the family can move back home.