Smoke from Large Mulch Fire Blankets Hamlet
By Ex Chief Dean W. Pappas
December 12, 2020

At about 1 AM Saturday morning, Katonah firefighters were dispatched to a large mulch fire at the Westwood Organic Recycling facility on Beaver Dam Road. Initially, the alarm had been for an "outside smoke investigation" in the Bedford Hills Fire District, resulting in that department being dispatched earlier in the evening. Smoke from the fire obscured a large section of Beaver Dam Road, Harris Road, and Route 117, limiting visibility as apparatus responded to the scene. Katonah's Engine 117, Engine 115, Tanker 6 and Ladder 39 all responded, along with mutual aid tankers from Bedford Hills FD, Golden's Bridge FD, South Salem FD, Croton Falls FD, Somers FD, and a mutual aid engine from Mount Kisco FD. Additionally, an engine from Bedford Village FD and an aerial from Mount Kisco FD were both placed on stand by in Katonah's headquarters, while a second tanker from Croton Falls covered the mutual aid departments' districts while they were assisting us. The fire, deep inside a mountain of mulch at the recycling center, was attacked by crews on the ground using inch-and-three-quarter hose lines from Engine 117 and Ladder 39's deluge gun, at the tip of the extended aerial. Mutual aid tankers and Engine 115 served as water sources, with their crews assisting Engine 117, Tanker 6 and Ladder 39 crews. After about three hours, the fire was brought under control enough so that excavators and backhoes from Westwood Organic Recycling could go to work breaking down the mulch pile. Katonah units were back in service by 4 AM. Katonah FD wishes to thank Battalion 16, Bedford HIlls Fire Department, Golden's Bridge Fire Department, South Salem Fire Department, Mutual Engine and Hose Co No. 1 and Union Hook and Ladder Company from Mount Kisco Fire Department, Bedford Village Fire Department, Croton Falls Fire Department and Somers Volunteer Fire Department for their assistance at this call.

Units: Car 2211, Car 2212, Engine 115, Engine 117, Tanker 6, Ladder 39
Mutual Aid: Battalion 16, Bedford Hills Fire Department, Bedford Village Fire Department, Mount Kisco Fire Department, Croton Falls Fire Department, Somers Fire Department, Golden's Bridge Fire Department
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