Fire at Newburgh's Sharon Place ruled accidental - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

Fire at Newburgh's Sharon Place ruled accidental


The State Fire Marshal's Office has now ruled the fire that destroyed nine businesses and a church in Newburgh on Saturday accidental.

They say it began in an attic space above the restroom in an office inside the strip of businesses. 14 News is told that the office belonged to someone who worked as a consultant to the FAA.

Now that the fire has been ruled accidental, the State Fire Marshal's investigation is wrapped up. But just by looking at all the damage, there's still a lot of work to be done before things get back to normal. 

Since the fire broke out early Saturday morning, the Newburgh Fire Department had been out at the scene 24 hours a day, making sure no one who was unauthorized went in to go through remains and to keep any hot spots at bay.

With it being a weekend, and a holiday weekend at that, most people didn't hear about the fire until they got up Saturday. But for neighbors who live nearby, it was a different story. 

14 News spoke to one man who lives just about 100 yards from the strip of businesses who says his wife woke him up in the middle of the night when she saw the fire.

"Other than the end, the east end of it, the rest of it was totally in flames just flames shooting 50 feet in the air at least. I know my wife was in tears because she works at the Peoples Bank which is right next door and a lot of those people bank there. They all have a total loss," Jim Miller said.

A fence went up Monday evening to help keep people from going through the damage.

Don's Cleaners was the business that had been out in the center for the longest, about 25 years. On Monday, their owner says they were getting a lot of phone calls and emails from customers trying to figure out where they go from here. He says they're going through things to see which items were destroyed in the fire and luckily they have a pretty high tech system to help them out.

"We're so grateful right now because of this, that we've got it. All we've got to do is just push a button on our computer and it'll bring up every single item and customer that was in the store at the time, so we know what garments got burned up," owner Steve Schmitt said.

The fire started in the Sharon Place shopping center that's located at State St. and Sharon Rd.  around 2:00 a.m. early Saturday morning. More than 60 area firefighters fought to control the blaze for more than three hours.

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