Fire ravages Samba Café

By TED WADDELL
Posted 4/14/20

JEFFERSONVILLE, NY — On Saturday, April 11, at approximately 4:24 p.m., a call went out about an explosion at Samba Café on Main Street in the center of the village.

Samba Café …

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Fire ravages Samba Café

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JEFFERSONVILLE, NY — On Saturday, April 11, at approximately 4:24 p.m., a call went out about an explosion at Samba Café on Main Street in the center of the village.

Samba Café is widely known for its hospitality and “celebration of Latin American cuisine.”

According to the 18-year-old daughter of the “Samba family,” she was in her room on the second floor “when a quartz heater blew up.” She and her parents escaped unharmed along with the family’s three pets, two cats and a dog.

Subsequent reports initially indicate that a room heater may not have been the cause of ignition, but rather another source inside an interior wall, possibly a hot water heater. The fire is still under active investigation by fire inspectors from the Sullivan County Bureau of Fire.

An eyewitness to the event, who declined to be identified, said he was told that “It was something in the wall… something exploded, something popped. There was a lot of smoke, and everything was out.”

According to the Samba family, all three of them tried to call 911 on their respective cell phones, but none of the frantic calls for help were connected to the county’s emergency control center. “All three of us tried to call 911, but nothing happened,” said a member of the family.

Reportedly, a bystander on the street was able to reach the control center and activate the emergency response to the fire.

“We got the call for an explosion with fire,” said Jon Mall, Jeffersonville Volunteer Fire Department chief. “When we arrived, we had smoke on the exterior wall between buildings. [We] sent in an interior tactical team and sent guys up to the roof to ventilate it.”

According to Mall, there was damage “to the spaces between the walls and floors, the first and second floors and also the roof.

“It was stubborn between the walls and floors, but they were finally able to open it up enough to knock it down. We had two ladders, multiple engines. The guys did a great job,” Mall said of the scores of volunteer firefighters who extinguished the fire.

In the wake of the fire, the owner of the building said, “We are very appreciative and supportive of the Jeffersonville Fire Department.”

The six-alarm blaze was fought by several local volunteer fire departments: Jeffersonville, Callicoon, Callicoon Center, Hortonville, Youngsville and White Sulphur Springs. Aerial apparatuses from Youngsville and Callicoon were also deployed at the scene. Kenoza Lake and Livingston Manor stood on stand-by. Also on-scene were New York State Police, Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office, Jeffersonville Ambulance Corps, Sullivan County Bureau of Fire, NYS DOT and NYSEG. 

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