Studios fire displaces 28 residents

Studios fire displaces 28 residents

A structure fire at the Whitehall Studios apartment complex at around 8:30 a.m. displaced 28 residents on Nov. 3.

Assistant Whitehall fire chief Steve Brock was the first officer on the scene, and fire chief Bryan Brooks said in a press release that Brock reported heavy smoke and fire coming from the attic.

Mutual aid came from fire companies in Fort Ann, North Granville and Dresden, while Fair Haven was on standby.

A resident of Whitehall Studios used several fire extinguishers to suppress the fire before evacuating, according to the press release. Members of the Whitehall Volunteer Fire Company were able to extinguish and ventilate the fire.

“Fire damage was confined to only two apartment units but will need to pass electrical inspection before power can be restored,” Brooks wrote. Brooks, along with Washington County Fire Investigators and Washington County Fire Coordinators, investigated the fire and found that the cause was an electrical failure in the attic.

Washington County Deputy director of Public Safety Tim Hardy said that Washington County Department of Public Safety and The Red Cross worked tirelessly into the night to house the 28 residents who were displaced from the fire.

There were roughly 10 people who did not have transport for themselves to be moved to a new location, and Hardy said that Whitehall school superintendent Patrick Dee was a huge help.

Dee sent a school bus to help transport the residents to their temporary residence.

The owner of Whitehall Studios, David Brown, said he has been putting a lot of money into the property to make renovations.

He said that he wants things to get back to normal after the fire.

“An engineer has already inspected the property and deemed it structurally sound, and it has also passed an electrical inspection by a licensed electrical inspector,” Brown said. He said that they are just waiting for National Grid to restore services to the apartments. After that things will “go back to the way they were,” he said, aside from the repairs that need to be made in the two units affected.