The two-alarm fire that destroyed a former popular restaurant that has sat abandoned since it closed in 2001 is under investigation.
The Rusty Nail, known for its "hopping" happy hours, was destroyed by the fire during the early morning hours on Thursday in the town of Wallkill.
State Police, who assisted at the fire scene, said the origin of the fire at the three-story wood structure is under investigation and that "all" causes are on the table, including arson, said Trooper Stephen Nevel.
The investigation is being conducted the Orange County Fire Investigation Unit, Nevel added.
Nevel said troopers who responded the scene did not find anyone inside or around the area, but nearby residents said homeless people are known to be inside on cold nights.
Mechanicstown firefighters battled the fire for hours with the assistance from Middletown, Pocatello, Goshen, Howells and Montgomery fire departments.
Due to the large nature of the fire, part of Dunning Road was closed until later in the morning as crews works to douse the flames that consumed the building.
This continues to be a developing story. Check back to Daily Voice for updates.
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