Arson suspected in fire that gutted abandoned building in Thiells

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Fire officials are almost certain it was arson that caused a fire that completely gutted a vacant building at Letchworth Village in Thiells.

More than a dozen fire departments battled the fire at Stewart Hall Wednesday night. Fire officials say it started on the second or third floor of the building and spread rapidly. Firefighters? efforts were hampered by the fact that none of the hydrants near Stewart Hall were working.

The town of Haverstraw owns the property currently. The WCI Corporation is expected to take it over soon and make it into a complex with 500 townhouses for people 55 and older. Stewart Hall was going to be restored and used as the clubhouse and fitness center. The town supervisor says those plans have not changed because of the fire.

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