Apartment fire puts 11 on street
ORANGE — A two-alarm fire in an Orange Housing Authority apartment building displaced 11 residents Sunday, sending one to the hospital.
Orange Fire Chief Dennis Annear said one resident of the building was taken to the hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation, but was released Sunday.
The fire destroyed two of eight apartments in the two-story, brick veneer Colonial Acres apartment building at 200 East River St., and the building remained uninhabitable Sunday.
Annear said most of his department was split between a mutual aid call in New Salem and on another call in Orange when the fire report came in at 8:46 a.m., and police were instrumental in evacuating the building.
The apartment complex is managed by the Orange Housing Authority as housing for elderly, disabled and low-income residents and 11 people were left temporarily homeless, according to firefighters and the Red Cross.
“The Red Cross and the housing authority are taking care of making sure they have some place to stay,” Annear said, and medications were retrieved from the six unburned apartments.
Annear said firefighters arrived to find a fire in a first-floor apartment and that it spread to the apartment above while firefighters from multiple departments fought the blaze.
“Two out of eight destroyed but the building’s not habitable at this time due to electrical issues,” Annear said.
The wiring inspector and electrician are working to restore electricity for heat, and a section of roof may be compromised and will have to be inspected today, Annear said.
Nine town fire departments responded in mutual aid, with five more on standby, Annear said. Most had returned to their stations by mid-afternoon.
The cause of the fire is under investigation by the state fire marshal.