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Officials: Garbage Fire Starts with Illegal Burn, Spreads to Vehicle

Summonses were issued by the Town of Southeast, the New York City Department of Environmental Conservation and the Department of Environmental Protection.

Firefighters from Brewster and Carmel extinguished flames that began in a garbage can and spread to a nearby vehicle and wooden concrete forms at 30 Old Mine Road in Southeast Tuesday afternoon.

The fire may have started up to six hours before first-responders received the 12:55 p.m. dispatch, based on the extent of burnt materials, said Brewster's Second Assistant Chief, Phil McMurray Jr.

No one was injured.

It started with the intentional burning of trash in a barrel, according to officials, who say the fire was unattended when they arrived. 

"It was burning pretty good," McMurray said, adding that flames were knocked down in about 25 minutes, before they reached the fuel tank of a truck that had been sitting nearby. There was reportedly about a quarter tank of gasoline in the vehicle, which sustained major damage.

Town of Southeast Fire Inspector Ken Clair issued two violations to a Danbury, CT, man who owns a concrete business that operates on the property. The first citation is for violating the statewide ban on open burning and the other is for burning hazardous materials, Clair said. Those materials consisted of oil filters and Styrofoam.

In addition to the two fire companies, members of the New York State Police responded. Because of the location's proximity to the watershed, and the hazardous materials involved, the New York City Department of Environmental Protection and Department of Environmental Conservation were also notified. Those agencies also issued summonses, according to fire officials.

The town's building department was alerted, as officials at the scene said there may be issues with the use of the property. In addition to the open area, where several trucks and concrete forms are stored, Parkash Motors is located there. A house sits on the property, too.

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