On Wednesday, Feb. 17 at 5:42 p.m., firefighters from the Wallkill, Plattekill, Modena, Walker Valley, Shawangunk Valley, Pine Bush and Gardiner Fire Departments responded to a house fire at John and Linda Bruder’s residence at 404 Galeville Road in the Town of Shawangunk.
When Kim Kosteczko, the Bruders’ neighbor, drove past the residence and saw fire coming out of their chimney, she acted as fast as she could.
“Thank you God for putting me in the right place at the right time to see fire starting to come from the side of his [the Bruder’s] chimney as I was driving, drove to his house as fast as I could, laid on the horn, called 911 and got John to come out of his house,” she said.
Wallkill Fire Chief Nick Walker confirmed that the fire started in the chimney and extended to the exterior of the house before consuming the attic. Walker added that the fire was contained within 30 minutes of the dispatch. No civilians or firefighters were hurt during the incident. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
Walker believes the house is unsalvageable although he pointed out that not all of the family’s possessions were burned.
“Some of the house didn’t burn but a lot of it had water damage and smoke damage,” he said. “There were things that they were able to take out of the house, they didn’t lose everything.”
The first responders offered the homeowners, John and Linda Bruder, shelter through the American Red Cross. Walker confirmed that the family declined their offer and are currently staying with family.