Fleischmanns High School Buildings Over Time

Bonds issued for construction of School House

Picture of Fleischmanns High School June 1911

Picture of Griffin-Fleischmann High School, Griffin Corners, N.Y. copied from the Senior Annual June, 1911

Post cards of Griffin-Fleischmann High School, Griffin Corners, N.Y.

1935 FHS Addition in progress enlarged photo, Courtesy of Marily Mayes Kaltenborn

Fire guts former Fleischmanns school Published: Thursday, June 16, 2011 Daily Freeman, Kingston, NY

FLEISCHMANNS – Children expecting to attend summer camp at a historic building in this tiny community in Delaware County will be disappointed this year. Early Wednesday, a stubborn fire destroyed most of the former Fleischmanns High School building at 173 Wagner Ave., which housed the camp, authorities said. Firefighters from 17 companies were on the scene for almost 12 hours. “There were flames coming from the basement and smoke from the first floor windows when we arrived,” said Fleischmanns Fire Chief Todd Wickham, who noted that the the call from Country Home Security, which monitors the property, came in at 4 a.m. Wednesday. “When we got there the fire was in the basement, spreading to the first floor. Then, because of the balloon construction, it spread out all over. “The harder we worked, the harder it worked,” Wickham said. “We’d think we had it contained, then it spread some more. I had to pull the men back a couple times.” Wickham said the older section of the four-story structure dates to the Great Depression. It was almost a total loss, he said. Wickham said fire companies were able to save half the main structure. Wickham said the cause of the fire remains inconclusive. The electricity had just been turned on, so that is a possible culprit, but Wickham said further investigation is needed. Wickham said about 100 firefighters were on the scene from the following fire companies: Pine Hill, Phoenicia, Shandaken and Big Indian in Ulster County; and Fleischmanns, Arkville, Margaretville, Bovina, Roxbury, Stamford, Grand Gorge, Franklin, Worchester, Halcottville, Andes, Arena and Delhi from Delaware County. Wickham said two ladder trucks from Margaretville and Stamford responded, along with five pumpers from Margaretville, Stamford, Fleischmanns, Arkville and Halcottville. Wickham said the Margaretville Fire Department Auxiliary remained with the fire companies for the duration of the fire and Hubble Construction Co. of Margaretville responded with its excavators. The Fleischmanns Fire Department returned to quarters at 3:28 p.m., almost 12 hours after the alarm first sounded, Wickham said.

THE DAILY STAR.COM June 16, 2011

Fire destroys part of Fleischmanns building

By Denise Richardson Staff Writer

Fire destroyed the old wooden portion of a former public school building on upper Wagner Avenue, the Fleischmanns fire chief said Wednesday night. Chief Todd Wickham estimated almost 100 firefighters from 17 departments were present at the peak of the 12-hour battle to quell the conflagration at the decades-old building. No one was hurt, he said, and the building was unoccupied. The sight of flames in the old section upon arrival prompted a plan to concentrate on saving the front brick portion, Wickham said. Extinguishing the fire in the wooden section was challenging because the older section was a "balloon construction" with false walls and no fire barriers, he said. "Once it got going, it was really hard to chase down," he said. "The moment we got there we started calling for help." The cause of the fire is under investigation but isn't suspicious, Wickham said during a telephone interview. Steel fire doors into the brick section were closed. The building most recently has been used as a Hebrew school in the summer, Wickham said. The back three-story section had six to eight apartments, he said, and the two-story front section was used for instruction. Wickham didn't have owners' names, but a representative from the school indicated an interest in rebuilding to open the school in the future. Delaware County fire investigators are working to determine a cause of the fire, which started between the basement and the first floor of the wooden section, he said. Country Home Security Services in Fleischmanns reported the fire at 4 a.m., Wickham said, and flames were visible when crews arrived. The back wooden portion of the building was constructed in 1928, Wickham said, and the brick section in front was built in 1936. Crews had sufficient water from the municipal water system, supplemented by pumping water from a creek that flows through the village, Wickham said. Many fire departments from Delaware County were at the scene, he said, and four departments from Ulster County also helped. Margaretville and Shandaken ambulances were at the scene, Wickham said, and the Margaretville Auxiliary supplied crews with food and water. An excavator from Hubell Inc. construction company of Margaretville was used to help contain the fire. The Fleischmanns Fire Department, which had to take care to extinguish many hot spots, was back in service at 4 p.m. Fleischmanns is in the town of Middletown. The building previously served as a school, including as the Fleischmanns High School. According to the Fleischmanns Museum website, first through fourth grades remained in the building after consolidation with Margaretville schools in 1969, and declining enrollment resulted in closure of the Fleischmanns school in 1984. Jeanine Pascarella, who lives outside Fleischmanns, said she attended fourth grade in the building and was sorry to see it damaged. Her husband, Todd, who is deputy mayor, said he was close enough to see flames and smell smoke, and he had to take a detour. "There were so many trucks blocking the road," he said. "The flames were going very high."

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Last Updated on Fridays, August 17, 2018 by John R. Todd Sr.