GOLDENS BRIDGE, N.Y. – The future of the Goldens Bridge fire house remains uncertain Tuesday, as the all-volunteer department makes repairs and assesses the damage from an accidental fire that damaged its headquarters and multiple vehicles Monday.
Ed Brancati, one of two in the building when the fire started around 9:30 a.m., told the Daily Voice Tuesday that they plan to salvage the building. Heat and plumbing had been restored as of Tuesday morning, but the electrical system has been more of a challenge.
“We’re optimistic,” said Brancati, chair of the Board of Fire Commissioners for the Goldens Bridge Fire Department. “Personnel are in good spirits.”
In the interim, a temporary building will be erected in the adjacent parking lot to house the remaining equipment. Brancati said they have already sought a firm to do the work. The Lewisboro Town Board has asked the building department and planning board to hasten the review of the temporary building.
“We are going to have a very expedited process on the temporary building,” Town Supervisor Peter Parsons said.
Out of the department’s seven vehicles, three were damaged. Those include two rescue trucks, which are still being evaluated, and a 1943 brush truck, which was a total loss, Brancati said. No other vehicles were damaged thanks to Mike Melillo, a volunteer firefighter who was also inside the building when the fire broke out.
He geared up and moved them outside. As a result of his efforts he suffered smoke inhalation and was taken to a nearby hospital. He returned to the scene Monday afternoon in good condition.
Goldens Bridge firemen, who are still operating out of the damaged building, responded to a fire call in Goldens Bridge Tuesday morning, but were supporting Croton Falls Fire Department, Brancati said. While they get back on their feet and map out their next steps, Croton Falls, Katonah, Somers, and South Salem fire departments will cover the Goldens Bridge fire district, as per an agreement reached Monday afternoon.
The fire department’s administrative offices will be moved to Lewisboro’s Park and Recreation building in Goldens Bridge, Parsons said. The town will vacate the space in mid-March when it move’s the department to Onatru Farm. It had planned to renovate the current building, but Parsons said that has been delayed to accommodate the fire department.
“My only concern as town supervisor is really that we continue to have first class coverage of that area for safety,” Parsons said. “That’s what I am, at the moment, content we have arranged.”