What to Know
- A Gap Inc. distribution center burst into flames in Fishkill, about 75 miles north of New York City
- Crews from multiple departments battled the blaze for hours before they were able to get it under control
- The cause of the fire is under investigation
A 990,000 square-foot Gap distribution center north of New York City caught fire Monday night, sending smoke and raging flames into the air, and initial estimates suggest millions in clothing and equipment were lost.
Large plumes of smoke could be seen rising from the large industrial warehouse in Fishkill, one of two facilities on Merritt Boulevard, as the glow of the blaze swirled below. Firefighters on ladders doused flames from above.
Numerous fire trucks were at the scene and at one point crews were using tankers full of water to resupply their fire trucks.
Gap Inc. spokeswoman Debbie Felix called it a “serious fire” but said all 100 employees who were on site at the time were safe and accounted for. They were told to stay home on Tuesday.
Firefighters from Fishkill and surrounding departments were still trying to control the inferno five hours after it started. They were able to contain it around 3 a.m., although there were still some hot spots flaring up.
State troopers were securing the area just before dawn. It appeared the center had suffered significant damage.
The facility opened in 2000 and expanded a year later. The company announced plans in 2014 to add 1,200 jobs over a five-year period and invest $96 million into the distribution center. The facility had more than 425 employees at the time of that announcement.
The assistant county executive says the distribution center is one of the top employees in Dutchess County, and had planned to hire additional workers. This is peak season for the facility, the assistant county executive said, so the hope is to have operations back to normal as soon as possible.
Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro said "basically anything you buy" under the Gap umbrella online comes from the torched facility. He said the county plans to work with the company to find a possible alternate location.
Anyone who saw anything around the time at the fire is asked to call police. The cause is under investigation.