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Fire district steps up as Millerton mourns

The Millerton News Editorial

The village of Millerton is in mourning this week, and it likely will be for a long while, after it lost two of its residents to an early-morning inferno that fully engulfed the home of Golden Wok restaurant owner Amy Yang at 5902 South Elm Ave. (Route 22) on Saturday, Nov. 6.

Thanks to the efforts of the all-volunteer Millerton Fire Company, led at the scene by Fire Chief Jason Watson and directed year-round by the Board of Fire Commissioners that manages the North East Fire District, the death toll wasn’t worse.

The 9-1-1 center dispatched the call at 7:58 a.m., noting there were possibly victims trapped inside. Some people on the scene said they could not only see the plumes of smoke billowing out of the home as the acrid smoke stung their eyes, but they could hear victims screaming to escape the flames.

Watson and his crew were on the scene within four minutes of being dispatched. Along with the Millerton Fire Company, a number of departments from around the Harlem Valley responded to the second-alarm fire, including volunteer fire companies from Amenia, Wassaic, Copake, Ancram and Hillsdale, as well as those from Lakeville, Sharon and Falls Village, Conn. The Town of North East Medic 1 was on hand, and the Pine Plains Hose Co. was on standby at the Millerton firehouse.

In addition to the two people who died in the blaze, who have yet to be identified by authorities, a female was taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation and a firefighter was also transported to the hospital for an injury.

By 11:44 a.m., the fire was under control, reported the fire district. Chairman of the Fire Commission Stephen Valyou said on Sunday, Nov. 7, that the fire chief worked with the fire investigation team until 7:30 p.m. Saturday and again on Sunday to look into the cause. (See story here by reporter Kaitlin Lyle for more.)

As the fire district searches for clues as to what may have caused the tragedy in Millerton on Nov. 6, we would like to say how sorry we are to Ms. Yang for her personal loss. She is a long-time village resident and business owner and has for many years contributed to the Tri-state region.

We  also want to express our condolences to everyone who knew and cared for the two victims who were lost over the weekend.

And we would like to thank   all of those who responded to the fire, whether to fight the blaze or to support the emergency workers and everyone who was at the scene.

The fire company and fire district also wanted to express their thanks to “Millerton Fire’s Support Group, County Executive Marc Molinaro, Mayor Jenn Najdek, Deputy Mayor Alicia Sartori, Village Clerk Kelly Kilmer, North East town Supervisor Chris Kennan, Talk of the Towne Deli, Four Brothers Pizza, Herrington’s Lumber, Northwest Lawn and Landscaping, Four Seasons Pools, along with the community, who reached out to give a hand. A big thank you also to the Dutchess 911 dispatchers and coordinators CC-2, CC-3, CC-14, CC-51 and CC-59. And last, but not least, the 50-plus Volunteer Firefighters who answered the alarm in helping to suppress this tragic fire.”

As the Millerton Fire Company and North East Fire District thank others, it is we who would like to thank them and every other emergency responder who showed up at the fire Saturday morning. They fought valiantly, selflessly.

They are our heroes for what they are willing to do for Millerton and every other community in our region — day in and day out — without question and without want of reward. It is the very definition of heroism.

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