The Sleepy Hollow Fire Department, along with the assistance of neighboring Tarrytown, Pocantico Hills, Irvington, Elmsford and Ossining Departments, averted what could have been the total destruction a Beekman Avenue Building housing five apartments and four businesses.
On May 17, at 9:30 a.m.
a fire started in the third floor bedroom of Debralyn Press, whose business, "Sleepy Hollow Performing Arts Center," is housed in the building’s basement. Ms. Press reportedly ran to the Police Station two doors away and reported the fire.
According to Sleepy Hollow Fire Chief John Korzelius, firefighters approached the fire by going inside the building and up the stairs, while others made a "trench cut" in the roof to vent the smoke and contain the blaze. The building’s large size made all efforts very "labor intensive" according to Chief Korzelius; he along with the Assistant Chief continually rotated their men in and out of the building to avoid exhaustion. The fire was successfully contained and only two of the five apartments along with the roof were severely damaged.
According to Sleepy Hollow’s Building Inspector, Sean McCarthy, the entire building received smoke and water damage. He said, "The Building Department will require a complete rehabilitation of the structure which will include the installation of a fire sprinkler system." Estimates for the reconstruction phase have been set at three months and maybe more.
Fire Chief Korzelius expressed his gratitude to all the firefighters who aided in containing a fire that could have easily destroyed the entire building.