Fire at Hillsdale plaza incinerates medical practice, damages real estate firm; Four Brothers Pizza spared
HILLSDALE, N.Y. — A fire that ripped through a strip mall on Sunday afternoon destroyed a private medical practice, a vacant storefront, and damaged a real estate office.
But firefighters managed to quell the flames before they reached the neighboring Four Brothers Pizza Inn.
There were no injuries reported, and the cause of the fire is still under investigation.
Four Brothers, the owners of which also own the complex off Route 23, was untouched but for a rear storage unit, according to John Stefanopoulos, the son of one of the restaurant's owners.
Hillsdale Fire Chief Fred Miller did not immediately return phone messages Tuesday.
The first call came at around 2:15 p.m., to report smoke issuing from the roof of Coldwell Banker Prime Properties, which suffered smoke damage and a hole in the roof cut by firefighters to stop more damage.
But Stefanopoulos said that officials pinned the start of the fire to somewhere on the west side of the plaza, where both Hillsdale Healthcare and a vacant storefront were demolished.
And photos taken by a Columbia County Sheriff's Office drone show that the fire appears to have started around that location, said Elizabeth Bledsoe, a nurse-practitioner who has owned Hillsdale Healthcare in that location for 15 years.
Bledsoe was distraught Tuesday, having lost everything in the blaze, including medical records and equipment. She was insured, but she said depreciation will cut into her payments, and now she's facing serious problems.
"My patients are already jumping ship," she said. "When I rebuild, how will I do that? Right now I have no income. I don't know where to go from here."
Bledsoe described a chaotic scene as a more than a dozen fire companies responded. She said Four Brothers made pizza for firefighters.
Hillsdale Fire Company and Community Rescue responded first, followed by units from two New York counties and Massachusetts.
The New York Office of Fire Prevention did not return emails Tuesday.
Heather Bellow can be reached at hbellow@berkshireeagle and @BE_hbellow and 413-329-6871.
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