Updated 04/16/2012 10:37 AM
Grandview residents displaced after massive fire
There's no word yet on the cause of a massive fire that burned down a Sullivan County resort. But fire investigators do know that the Grandview Palace Condominiums in Fallsburg were noted for numerous violations during recent inspections. Now, some residents are left with nothing. Our Elaina Athans has the story.
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LOCH SHELDRAKE, N.Y. -- Yet another one of Sullivan County's iconic landmarks goes up in flames after a sweeping fire at the old Browns Hotel. Investigators try to determine what caused a massive fire at the Grandview Palace Condominiums, a place that was found to be violating numerous codes this past winter.
It started Saturday and destroyed about 20 acres of land. Fire companies from surrounding areas were called in for the battle. Four firefighters were injured and treated at the hospital. They're doing okay now, but the former Browns Hotel is, for the most part, is gone.
The Browns used to be a signature resort in the Catskills. Comedian Jerry Lewis would often give impromptu performances there.
Over time, the property was turned into the Grandview Palace condominium complex. Hundreds lived here and during the fire, there were evacuations. Some people needed to be rescued.
"There was five actual buildings that were lost here With the dry conditions and the wind, the ambers went out and started several brush fires," said Hurleyville Fire Chief Jim Kaufman.
Dozens of residents that live at the condominium were forced to seek refuge at Sullivan County Community College. The American Red Cross set up a shelter.
"I couldn’t sleep all night long thinking I have all that stuff in my apartment," said Grandview resident Betty Sahm.
Sahm, a senior citizen, lived at Grandview for more than decade. She now has nothing left expect for fears and worries.
"We have no car. We have no money. No credit cards. I don’t, we don’t know what to do," said Sahm.
The fire is expected to smolder for a couple days and the college plans to keep the shelter open
"We’re a community college. We’re here for the community," said Sullivan County Community College Director of Public Safety David Seigerman. "Everyone has step up here to do whatever they can do for these folks. That’s apparent. We’re here for them.”
According to documents from the Town of Fallsburg, the Grandview was required to institute a fire watch program, provide daily logs, and produce proof the sprinkler system was in good working order. If they did not comply, the town would deem the building "unsafe for human occupancy."