By Eli Ruiz
LOCH SHELDRAKE Looks like the huge April 14 blaze that destroyed the majority of the buildings comprising the 396-unit Grandview Palace condominium complex had its start in the basement of the complex’s main building also called the old boiler room.
Sullivan County Public Safety Commisioner Dick Martinkovic said, “You know, we’ve been working on this for the last six weeks, between the ATF and the fire investigators, and we can’t necessarily put a finger on a particular wire or a certain piece of equipment, but we can say that that’s where the fire began. After talking with security, who by the way, did a great job sounding that alarm immediately and getting the place evacuated.
Martinkovic added, “One of the Grandview security guys actually got into that locked room and was going to grab a fire extinguisher, but the smoke was just way too heavy to navigate the area, so he did the right thing, sounding that alarm and getting everyone out of there.”
Lead Investigator Charlie Fallon, with the Sullivan County Bureau of Fire, said, “That’s what we believe [that the fire began in the basement of the main building.] Right now we’ve got four stories worth of debris on top of it, so I don’t think it will ever go beyond that as far as an exact cause but we know where it started.”
Indeed, a true cause for the fire which left more than 100 people homeless and led to the eventual condemnation of the entire property may never be known.
Fallon says that the fire’s cause will remain as “Undetermined,” as agreed upon by the lead investigator and the Sullivan County District Attorney’s Office as of Thursday.