HUDSON FALLS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A multi-unit apartment building in Hudson Falls is coming down after a devastating fire Monday evening. The blaze, which lasted for several hours, displaced seven families.
Demolition began Tuesday afternoon, nearly 20 hours after the structure caught fire, after the building was deemed to be in imminent collapse.
Crews remained on the scene of Maple Street throughout the day Tuesday. Firefighters were initially called to the multi-unit building just before 8 p.m. Monday for a blaze on the first floor.
“Initially we thought we had the fire out. It quickly spread due to the construction of the building, spreading to the second floor and into the cockloft area, and rapidly spread from there,” said Fire Chief Tom Bover.
The rapidly spreading fire devastated the building, which the chief believes was built around the 1930s.
Thankfully everyone was able to get out of the building safely and nobody was injured, “Everything was up in flames,” one tenant who came home during the blaze explained.
Several families are receiving shelter assistance from the American Red Cross following the fire.
Crews fought the blaze for several hours into the early morning hours Tuesday. The chief says they got the fire out around 2 a.m., “We got to the seed of the fire, but since it was in the walls, it was tough to chase, it’s kinda like chasing a rat through a maze.”
Hudson Falls Police announced Tuesday morning that a man had been arrested in connection with the blaze.
47-year-old Peter Lemery was charged by police with Reckless Endangerment in the 1st degree, a Class D Felony. He’s being held at Washington County Correctional Facility awaiting arraignment.
Hudson Falls Police say they were able to locate Lemery, who lived in the downstairs apartment, and interviewed him about the fire prior to his arrest.
Lemery is set to appear in Town of Kingsbury Court next week.
This is an ongoing and active investigation. A stretch of Maple Street, which is New York State Route 196, was shutdown for much of the day Tuesday as the investigation continued.