The Milan Market and Pizzeria on Route 199 was engulfed in flames the afternoon of Dec. 29, and completely destroyed within two hours.
Owner Elias Rabadi, of LaGrangeville, who was alone in the store at the time, escaped without injury, according to Milan fire officials. But one firefighter sustained a shoulder injury while picking up a hose during the fire fight.
Milan Fire Chief Al Sardaro told the Observer it took about an hour and a half to get the fire under control with 60 firefighters on hand and called the building “a complete loss.”
The market, located just east of the Taconic Parkway, had served for years as the only convenience store on the route between Red Hook and Pine Plains. Rabadi did not return requests for comment.
Sardaro said his department received a call to respond to a structure fire at the site, 1615 Route 199, at 2:45pm.
“Upon our arrival, the fire was fairly advanced,” he said. “We were unable to make any kind of entry into the building until after the fire was under control.”
All of Milan’s equipment—a tanker, two engines, a rescue truck, and an ambulance—responded along with firefighters and equipment from Rhinebeck, Pine Plains, Livingston, Elizaville Fire Company, East Clinton, and Pleasant Valley.
During the operation, Sardaro added, fire departments from West Clinton, Hillside, Taconic, and Stanford stood by at Milan and Pine Plains fire department headquarters to offer mutual aid if needed.
Sardaro said the cause of the fire is still under investigation by the Dutchess County Fire Investigation Division.
Captain John Watterson of the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office told the Observer that, “[O]nce a cause has been identified a determination will be made as to what direction our investigation will go in. At this time, the Sheriff’s Office is awaiting the results of the FID investigation, and we may be able to provide more information once that is complete.”