The former Brown’s Hotel, once a popular resort in the Catskill Mountains, has burned down.
The fire, which began at approximately 6 p.m. Saturday, destroyed seven of the nine buildings in what are now the Grandview Palace condominiums in Fallsburg, N.Y. About 100 people were evacuated; no injuries were reported.
Earlier this year, the town of Fallsburg had condemned the complex for fire safety and other building code violations. An investigation into the cause of the fire reportedly is underway.
Among my most vivid childhood memories is sitting on the floor of Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun's majestic sanctuary on the eve of Tisha B'Av, listening to Rabbi Haskel Lookstein preface the reading of the scroll of Eicha with the words, "Tonight is nineteen hundred and …years since the destruction of our holy Temple…" Hundreds of people, gripped by the mix of history and immediacy, would shed tears over a building that went up in flames, each wisp of smoke carrying a memory.