Port Jervis firefighter injured on scene By Sharon E. Siegel
A longtime Port Jervis fire volunteer was injured during a multi-family structure fire late Monday afternoon. Fellow firefighters rush to assist their injured comrade. Port Jervis Emergency Management Coordinator/PJFD volunteer Tom Vicchiarello sustained extensive damage to his face when a 5″ discharge line cap blew off of the back of his companys pumper, striking him. He received immediate treatment at the scene by several fast-acting fellow firefighters, and by responding Port Jervis Volunteer Ambulance and Regional Emergency Services crews. Vicchiariello, alert and conscious, was initially transported to Bon Secours Community Hospital but then airlifted out a couple of hours later to Westchester Medical Center. He was reported to be resting comfortably on Tuesday night. Reports late Tuesday afternoon were that once swelling is reduced, reconstructive surgery will be required. PJFD First Assistant Chief Jim Fuller said the three-apartment building, located at 101 West Main Street, contained two occupied and one vacant apartment at the time of the fire. All occupants were safely self-evacuated. The fire originated from a kitchen stove as dinner was being prepared in one of the two occupied apartments. A neighbor phoned the blaze in to 9-1-1 at about 4:15 p.m. All Port Jervis units were on the scene, as were local and regional ambulance crews, Port Jervis Police Department and Matamoras Rescue and Fast Teams. On stand-by were Sparrowbush, Huguenot and Otisville Fire Departments, and Matamoras Fire Department’s tower ladder. Matamoras Rescue and Fast Teams were among the units on the scene at Monday’s blaze. An investigation is ongoing.