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Fire call at Easter Seals cancels school, but monthly food distribution continues this morning

By Sharon E. Siegel

PORT JERVIS -- Port Jervis Fire Department arrived on scene within minutes of a call reporting a smell of burning rubber in the sanctuary section of the Temple Beth El building on East Main Street. An alarm was also sounding as a call for assistance was made just before 8:30 a.m. on Monday morning, January 24. Fortunately, there was no fire, but the current school building has no heat.

Barbara Kuczyra serves as RN and Outreach Coordinator for Easter Seals and Project Discovery, which rents the former synagogue building. The facility serves as a pre-school and community outreach center.

Kuczyra said she and other staff heard a loud bang, then the alarm, and smelled what seemed like burning rubber.

“It wasn’t a fire, but was found to be an oil burner issue. The firefighters turned the furnace off and we have someone here to look at the furnace now,” Kuczyra. “We have no heat, so there will be no school today. We turned the busses around and sent the children back home. But we are continuing with today’s monthly outreach.”

Dozens of individuals were lined up behind the temple and down Jones Street this morning, waiting for the monthly food distribution to begin at the Easter Seals site. Kuczyra said that while children could not be in classrooms without heat (current outside temperature 19 degrees), she and other staff were able to keep their coats on and proceed with today’s food distribution.

Anyone planning to participate is advised to get there as soon as possible as food will be distributed first come, first served until gone, as usual.

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