Fire caused by cutting torch, hydrant blocked by scrap material from demolition of old factory
NYACK – The owners of the old factory site that will be the home of a new upscale hotel were cited for fire code violations Monday after a brush fire in which a Nyack volunteer firefighter was injured, according to Nyack officials.
Nyack Fire Chief James Weck said the injured firefighter remains in Nyack Hospital today and is expected to remain hospitalized for another night because of injuries that include four broken ribs. Weck said the fire was the result of sparks from a torch being used to cut metal for recycling at the demolition site.
In addition to starting the brush fire, officials said violations were issued because piles of material from the demolition of the former Stoffel Seals factory at 400 High Ave., alongside the New York State Thruway northbound Exit 11 ramps, blocked access to a fire hydrant that firefighters needed so they could battle the brush fire.
Firefighters had to run a fire hose line over the pile to access the hydrant and battle the fire, which burned brush in a gully between the factory site and the Thruway entrance ramp. The Nyack volunteer firefighter was injured when he slipped and fell on a steel beam from the factory demolition.
The firefighter was manning a hose line at the fire, Weck said. Initially, it was thought the injured firefighter could be released from the hospital by this morning, but Weck said he will likely remain hospitalized until Wednesday and will face several weeks of recovery.
While members of the Nyack Fire Department have been routinely treated in the Nyack Hospital emergency room for minor injuries related to firefighting, Weck said this is the first time since 1992 that a Nyack volunteer firefighter has needed hospitalization due to an injury at the scene of a fire. The last incident involved a Thanksgiving Day fire on South Broadway in Nyack, where a firefighter fell on a fire escape.
Nyack firefighters stopped Monday’s fire before it could reach the woods just west of the factory site. The firefighting effort briefly closed the Exit 11 on-ramp to the Thruway so that firefighters could put water on the fire from the Thruway.
The old factory site is set to become the home of the new NYLO Nyack hotel, which is slated to have 132 rooms, a restaurant, bar, meeting rooms, and fitness facilities. The developer is billing the hotel as a getaway destination where visitors can take advantage of the scenic and cultural amenities of the area.