Sparta Train Station burns to rubble

The 130-year-old station was the last of 15 built by NYS&W

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  • Det. Sgt. John Schanstra and Sgt. Jeffrey Mase discuss their findings as President Of Eastern Propane Robert Nicholson takes notes at the scene. All photos courtesy of the Sparta Police Department

  • From atop the Sparta PAL Building, very little is left standing of the Sparta Train Station which was recently being renovated before it was destroyed by a fast moving blaze

  • The charrred remains of the historic Sparta Train Station. The Sparta PAL Building is in the background.

An early morning fire on Monday completely destroyed the 130-year-old Sparta Train Station.

Police were notified of the fire at 3:49 a.m. by a motorist on Route 15 who spotted the flames from the highway. Sparta patrols arrived on scene three minutes later to find the building completely engulfed.

Firefighters from the Sparta and Ogdensburg Fire Departments battled the blaze for approximately an hour and a half before finally clearing from the scene after 7 a.m.

One Ogdensburg firefighter suffered from heat exhaustion and was treated at the scene by the Ogdensburg First Aid Squad.

No other structures were damaged as a result of the fire. Rail service for The New York Susquehanna and Western Railroad Line was disrupted for approximately three hours until the scene could be made safe.

Sparta Det. Sgt. John Schanstra and Det. Jason Garrigan of The Sussex County Prosecutor’s Office Arson Unit are investigating the source of the fire and hadn't released a determination by Wednesday morning.

A little history

The New York, Susquehanna and Western Railroad built Sparta Station in 1882. It served numerous dairy farms and Sparta’s own Ideal Creamery Company. Everything from coal, ice, cement and mail arrived at the station for delivery to the residents of early Sparta.
Before this morning’s fire, Sparta Station was the last station left of the 15 that were built by NYS&W in Sussex County. Its water tank (which is still standing) is the only one left in the county and one of the few left in the state. It was unaffected by the fire.
The area in which the train station was located has been going through a rebirth after years of neglect. The adjacent property was part of the A.O. Polymer Superfund site.
The property was sold by the Environmental Protection Agency to Station Holdings, LLC. On Feb. 19, 2009.
This property now houses the brand new state of the art Sparta Police Athletic League Building.
The Train Station which is also owned by Station Holdings, LLC was being renovated. Recently a new roof had been installed and other repairs were under way.

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