Baby won't be happy: Resort that inspired Dirty Dancing burns to the ground in largest fire in Catskills history
Published: 07:05 BST, 19 April 2012 | Updated: 07:41 BST, 19 April 2012
Die-hard fans of 1987 classic 'Dirty Dancing' will recognise Kellerman's instantly as the stage for Baby and Johnny's last dance.
But the resort that inspired the movie backdrop for a forbidden love affair between a teenage girl and her dance instructor has now been destroyed in what is being called the 'largest fire in Catskills history'.
The blaze at the Grandview Palace complex in Loch Sheldrake, 85 miles northwest of New York City, on Saturday came a month after fire officials threatened to condemn the property for several code violations.
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Ablaze: Firefighters battle flames roaring into the sky from the Grandview Palace condominiums in Fallsburg, New York on Saturday
The Middletown Times-Herald Record reports the fire started in a basement boiler room in the main building at about 6pm.
More than 40 fire companies and 300 firefighters from surrounding counties responded to the scene, battling flames that licked through several buildings and roared into the night sky, sparking brush fires as embers blew to nearby properties.
After several hours, rescue teams were finally able to extinguish the flames. But there was little left to salvage.
Buses took residents to the fieldhouse at Sullivan County Community College, where a Red Cross team was waiting to attend to any medical needs. No deaths were reported.
Inspiration: The 396-unit complex opened in 1944 as Brown's Hotel but re-opened as Grandview in 1997
Immortalised: Jennifer Grey, as 17-year-old Frances 'Baby' Houseman, and Patrick Swayze, as bad boy dance instructor Johnny Castle, star in their final dance number at Kellerman's in 1987 classic 'Dirty Dancing'
On Tuesday, as many as 50 residents taking shelter at SUNY were awaiting clearance to retrieve some of their belongings. While the main building was destroyed, Grandview's 'B' and 'F' buildings were left largely intact, as are some apartments in its 'I' building, the Times-Herald reports.
A spokesman for David Rajwan, president of the complex's board of managers, said he was 'devastated' by the fire.
The board declined to issue comment about code violations, which included inoperable alarms, sprinklers, fire doors and emergency lights.
Code Enforcement Officer Mollie Messenger said a public hearing on condemnation is scheduled for Monday evening.
Sleeper: Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze became two of the biggest stars of the '80s after the movie surprised critics to become one of the decade's biggest hits
The 396-unit complex opened in 1944 as Brown's Hotel.
While the majority of 'Dirty Dancing' was filmed in North Carolina and Virginia, the Brown's Hotel was one of several resorts in the Catskill mountains that served as inspiration for Eleanor Bergstein's script.
The property was immortalised in movie history when Patrick Swayze, as bad boy summer dance instructor Johnny Castle, and Jennifer Grey, as 17-year-old New Yorker Frances 'Baby' Houseman, paired up for the Emile Ardolino film that became one of the biggest hits of the '80s.
The property was turned into condos a decade after the movie release, and re-opened as Grandview in 1997.
But despite irreparable damage to seven of its nine buildings, according to local reports, some residents are calling for a stop to officals' recommendations for condemnation.
Leonard Holden, who owns two units at Grandview, told the newspaper he was for 'total rebuilding'.
'I believe the place is beautiful,' he said.
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