Two Firefighters had to be hospitalized Sunday in a stubborn blaze that broke out in a basement gun range, spread through a Pearl River, Rockland County shopping center and continued burning for several hours, Pearl River (NY) Fire Chief Jim Morrison said.
Firefighters from Mahwah, Montvale and River Vale N.J. were among more than 100 from Rockland, Westchester (NY) and Bergen (NJ) counties either at the Pearl River scene or in coverage through the afternoon and into the evening. The tough fire began shortly before noon in the long-gun range at the Rockland Indoor Shooting Education Center beneath the Dollar General store on North Middletown Road. The range was occupied at the time but it and the shopping center was evacuated as fire spread into a “void space” between the ceiling of the gun range and the floor of the stores above, travelling “all the way across the whole length of the building.”
It continued to burn beneath Dollar General and the Dunkin Donuts next door past nightfall, causing problems for firefighters who couldn’t get to it. The way the building was constructed, the members were not able to get to the where the seat of the fire is…and every time they opened a space, there was another space. The chief requested Westchester’s Technical Rescue Team to use jackhammers to open the floors.
Two Firefighters were taken to Montefiore Nyack Hospital for treatment of carbon monoxide poisoning.