Authorities: 2 firefighters injured while responding to fire at 3 Hillcrest businesses

Ramapo police say the cause of the fire is under investigation.

News 12 Staff

Jul 8, 2023, 3:05 PM

Updated 290 days ago

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The Rockland County fire coordinator says two firefighters were injured early Saturday morning while responding to a fire that impacted three businesses at a strip mall in Hillcrest.
Officials say Hillcrest Fire Company arrived at the scene at around 3:41 a.m. Firefighters were able to keep the fire from damaging additional stores on both sides despite a nearby fire hydrant being inoperable.
Officials say the fire was heavy. The Pepe’s Pizzeria building also appeared to be destroyed by the blaze.
Washbrite laundromat owner John Barna told News 12 that he and his wife were at the scene since 4 a.m. when they first heard of the emergency.
"The only damage was a little bit of water, and they knocked our ceiling off,” he said.
Barna says he is helping with the overall cleanup of his shop, boarding doors and parts of the roof with wooden planks.
"I feel so sorry for the people next door to us. They lost their business, their employees, their whole lives,” he said.
Customers have also been left heartbroken by the damaging blaze.
"Right now, I feel so disappointed because I always come to this restaurant and get my food,” said Inet Smith. “I'm so sorry to hear what happened."
News 12 was told that the initial call reporting the fire was from a police officer who was driving by the buildings and saw flames on the roofs of the businesses.
Ramapo police say the cause of the fire is under investigation.


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