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A LOOK INSIDE a Town of Tusten Water Department building in Narrowsburg shows just how well Town Water Superintendent Scott Birney did when he caught the fire early and extinguished it. No one was hurt, and the water’s just fine

Quick Thinking Saves Building

By Paul Hemmer
NARROWSBURG —January 30, 2001 Level-headed action by the Town of Tusten’s water superintendent and support from the Narrowsburg and Lava fire departments saved a town storage building Friday afternoon.
According to Narrowsburg Chief Craig Burkle, Town of Tusten Water Superintendent Scott Birney was working at the water department’s pumphouse just off 4th Street in Narrowsburg when he noticed smoke coming out of a water department storage building next door. When Birney opened the front doors of the building, he found it to be full of smoke. He immediately ran next door to the residence of Art Peck and got the fire called in.
After returning to the burning structure, Birney used two fire extinguishers, keeping the fire at bay until firefighters arrived on the scene.
Chief Burkle credits Birney’s swift action with saving the structure.
“He had the majority of the fire knocked down when we arrived,” Burkle said.
Narrowsburg Assistant Chief Mike Hector was the first firefighter to arrive on the scene. According to Hector, he arrived to find the smoldering remains of the burning material inside the building with no visible open flame. Narrowsburg’s first-due engine and firefighters advanced a 1” hand line and doused the remaining hot spots while removing what was left of the burning material from the structure.
The building suffered no damage, according to Chief Burkle, as it was only an assortment of materials that had been burning on the floor. Burkle added that the Lava Fire Department assisted at the scene with an engine, tanker and manpower.
It is unknown what may have caused the fire, but it is currently under investigation. The town’s water supply was unaffected.

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