BEEKMANTOWN, N.Y. – Eighteen ire departments, including several from Canada, worked late into the night Tuesday battling a massive fire that broke out at Bordeau’s New & Used Furniture on Route 22 in Beekmantown.
Beekmantown Fire Chief Darryl Menard said first responders arrived late Tuesday afternoon after reports of heavy smoke coming from the rear of the building. “The building is a total loss,” Menard said. ‘Fortunately, nobody was injured.”
By 8 p.m., the fire had spread to several apartments adjacent to the furniture store. Flames soared through the top of the structure as firefighters poured water on the blaze from aerial platforms.
“Because of the fire load with all the debris and wood involved, it was extremely hard to try and keep the fire under control, and once it got through the roof, it just took right off,” Menard said.
Eventually, the roof collapsed while firefighters were still inside, but they were able to escape safely. “At that point, we pulled everyone out of the building and started to surround it and drown it,” Menard said.
It’s unclear how much furniture was inside the building at the time, but dozens of wooden drawers were stacked outside the front entrance. Once the apartments and main building were relatively extinguished, firefighters knocked down the pile of drawers and worked to suppress additional flames that were spreading through them.
As of early Wednesday morning, dozens of firefighters remained on the scene as flames continued to flare up throughout the structure.
“Obviously, the way the structure is caved in, we won’t send any firefighters in there,” Menard said. “We’ll just do some overhaul and try to clean up any hotspots we can.”
Due to the size of the fire, firefighters sprayed water over nearby houses in an effort to protect them from flaring up.
Fire engines darted back-and-forth from nearby hydrants, forming a line that extended hundreds of yards from the scene.
A bystander who had been on the scene since roughly 3 p.m. Tuesday afternoon said the building was at least 130 years old, and he had noticed a ‘for sale’ sign in a window near the main entrance.
He added that the fire seemed to escalate around 6 p.m.
This story will be updated as additional information becomes available.