Fire destroys Center Hill Road home

By Claudia Wysocki
MONROE — The cause of the fire that destroyed 60 to 70 percent of the Center Hill Road home Monday morning apparently was ashes from the fireplace.Monroe Fire Chief Tim Carr said the fire is being investigated by the Orange County Fire Investigator, Orange County Fire Coordinator and Orange & Rockland Utilities, Inc.But the chief said the initial assessment points to the fireplace as the cause.The fire started approximately 9:35 a.m.A Monroe firefighter, who is also with Monroe's Department of Public Works, was working near the scene and noticed a man had climbed a letter to his roof.Fire Capt. John Scherne assisted the man and got him down.Carr said when firefighters arrived at the scene, the first and second floor of the home was engulfed in fire.Calls were out for other fire companies for their tanker trucks to supply water to the fire from hydrants on Lakes Road.The chief said the residents, three adults, two elementary school children and an infant all escaped, but they lost all their belongings.Two firefighters were treated for sprain ankles and sore shoulders. The homeowner was also treated medically.The fire crews were from Mombasha, Harriman, Lakeside, Chester, South Blooming Grove, Woodbury, Tuxedo, Salisbury Mills, Washingtonville and Greenwood Lake.Monroe Volunteer Ambulance Corps and Mobile Life Support Services were also on the scene.