A rapid response by area firefighters and the installation of sprinklers in a multi-story senior citizens complex in Carmel saved the day Saturday when a fire broke out in a third floor apartment. Carmel firefighters arrived at the Hillcrest Commons off Route 52 adjacent to the Shop-Rite Plaza around 9 a.m. and found smoke and flames.
Chief Dave DiRienzo sounded a general alarm and requested mutual aid from the Lake Carmel, Brewster and Mahopac Fire Departments as well as the Carmel Volunteer Ambulance Corps and a paramedic from the EM STAR Ambulance Company.
The chief said the fire began when a woman residing in the apartment that caught fire extinguished a cigarette she had been smoking in an outside porch. “The butt was deposited into a wicker bin which went up in flames and ignited the side of the building. Thank God the sprinklers became activated which resulted in the sounding of an alarm.”
The resident in the apartment suffered smoke inhalation and was treated at the scene by EMS providers. Also assisting were Putnam Assistant Commissioner of Emergency Services Robert Lipton, Putnam Battalion 15 Coordinator Doug Casey, the Putnam Fire Investigation Team and Carmel Police. Fire crews returned to quarters two hours later.