Officials seek public’s help in fire investigation after a blaze tore through buildings in Orange

·1 min read

Firefighters from 20 area departments battled a raging blaze that tore through multiple vacant mill buildings in Orange on Saturday morning, officials said.

Crews responding to a report of a fire at 16 West River Street around 11:45 a.m. found heavy smoke and flames engulfing the building, according to the State Fire Marshal’s Office. The flames also spread to four other nearby buildings.

The massive emergency response was “equivalent to a six- or seven-alarm fire,” Orange Fire Chief James Young said.

Two people suffered minor injuries and were treated at the scene.

The building, which is privately owned, has been “crumbling for years,” according to town officials.

State police are assisting Orange police and fire officials with an investigation into the cause of the fire.

“We’re asking anyone with information on how this fire started to share it with investigators,” said Chief Young. “You can remain anonymous if you prefer.”

Anyone with information on the fire, its origin, or individuals involved is asked to call the Arson Watch Reward Program Hotline at 1-800-682-9229.

The fires are being investigated by the Orange Fire Department, Orange Police Department, the State Police Fire & Explosion Investigation Unit assigned to the State Fire Marshal’s office, and the State Police Detective Unit assigned to the Northwestern District Attorney’s office.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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