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Fire Devastates T.I. Park [Photos][Video]
Posted Thursday, August 14, 2014 at 10:06:21 AM
Alexandria Bay, NY
1000 Islands Comments
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Last night around midnight I was tipped off by local acting legend Eric Scordo that the Jefferson County Scanner System was going wild.. there was talk of fires, explosions, downed power wires, and large tanks that could explode at any moment.. there were requests for assistance from nearly every fire department within a 50 mile range. It sounded like something out of a movie. Unfortunately it was real life and it was happening at T.I. Park.
Now, since the large structure on fire also contained the "Fire Department" the 1st responders really had their hands tied. They struggled to get the doors to the Fire Department Open, but despite their best efforts could not.. they just couldn't get their trucks and equipment out. In the end they lost their ambulance, a pumper, a tanker, a brush truck, and all their supplies and equipment. All they could do at this point was get water flowing at some level and wait for assistance and equipment.
When assistance finally began to arrive it came from all directions.. Alex Bay, Clayton, Lafargeville, Depaulville, Theresa, 3 Mile Bay, Chaumont, Hammond, Redwood, Plessis.. etc etc etc... by land, by sea, you name it.. the local volunteers showed up in huge numbers just like they always do.
As crews battled the fire from the rear of the building, suddenly the upper levels collapsed.. flames rose up 100's of feet into the air, embers and ash were falling like rain, the fire and smoke could be seen for miles across the river, houses near the blaze were kept wet in an effort to keep them from catching on fire.. debris was falling on fire trucks, live power wires were coming down, large propane tanks were in danger of exploding, various tanks and equipment in the Fire Department area were exploding, fire boats were called in, water was being pumped from the river, National Grid was called to try and get power shut off, even the Bridge Authority was notified due to all the responder traffic that the bridge would be seeing, the sky was yellow, it was crazy, the intense fire was fought all night long and no doubt the crews involved are exhausted today. I think it should also be mentioned that the T.I. Park community was busy the entire time giving the firemen coffee, juice, water, bagels, and donuts..
In a nutshell, The loss to the residents of T.I Park is huge.. the area of the fire was the center of everything for them.. their hub so to speak.. they lost the grocery store, the old post office, the clothing boutique, the realty office, the plumbing store, and a litte joint called the "Guzzle" which was an old time Ice Cream & Candy Shop as well as a place to get a bite to eat.
Now, for those of you that don't know this, T.I. park is a place of great history.. going there is like going back in time.. last night a piece of that history was lost.. It's not the 1st time in history though that fire has shown it's ugly face in the park.. hopefully though it's the last... they will get through this and no doubt they will rebuild.. thankfully it is reported that no one was hurt and most if not everything was insured. The cause of the fire is currently unknown.
I have also been told that since they lost their only Ambulance that TIERS is letting them borrow one for the time being. I have also been told that a lot of the sports equipment was lost. There is a nice field there where the kids play softball and soccer and whatever else. They will be looking for gloves, bats, balls, etc etc so if anyone has anything like that to donate you can probably just drive over there and easily find someone to hand it off to..
Watch the video footage below by Joe Clifford
Watch the video footage below by Joe Palmer
Photos submitted to our fan page by Steve Mugridge
And here is a message from Catherine Padden DeGeorge representing the T.I. Park Corporation..
"The T.I. Park Corporation Board and staff would like to express sincere thanks to all the firefighters, volunteers and to everyone else who took part in the response that helped to save the Thousand Island Park community. We are grateful there are no injuries to report.
The commercial buildings at the four corners have been lost from the Plumbing building to the Post Office. The Corporation Office is open and operating at this time. All buildings were insured and the effort... to determine a recovery plan is well under way.
The Wellesley Hotel is operating and residents are able to gather there for refreshments. The Fineview Post Office is in the process of setting up temporary key-entry post office boxes in the Fineview location. They will be ready in the next day or so. Most Park activities are expected to continue as scheduled (with modifications as necessary) thanks to the resilience of our T.I. Park family.
We will continue to provide updates as information becomes available. Thank you again for your support and understanding as we work through this tragedy together."