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Delmar Family Escapes Early-Morning Fire Two Days After Christmas

This article is a direct street report from our correspondent and has not been edited by the 1st Responder newsroom.

DELMAR, NY - A Delmar family is lucky to be alive after waking up to a fire in their home and escaping just minutes before the entire staircase burned away Monday morning, December 27th.

The family's home was destroyed by the fire just two days after Christmas.

Bethlehem Police Officer Andrew Hynes was just ending his 8-hour overnight shift when he was flagged down just before 6:45 A.M., after a passerby noticed a structure fire from Delaware Avenue. Officer Hynes located the fire at 485 Dawson Rd. in Delmar and notified dispatch to send fire crews to the scene of a fully-involved house fire.

Upon arrival there was fire coming through the front windows of the home, with the back of the home fully-involved in fire on both the first and second floors.

“When I had arrived the back of the house was fully-involved and it had already worked its way to the front,” said Assistant Chief Dan Ryan of the Delmar Fire Department.

A ladder truck from Delmar Fire pulled into the driveway and crews got right to work on the fire. There was electrical arcing from the power source that connected to the chicken coop located in the back of the house, located directly next to the deck.

There were four people living in the home at the time of the fire, who police say were all able to exit the home without injury. A GoFundMe was set up for the family who is staying in a hotel at this time. The family was asleep when they woke up and were alerted to the fire, according to a post made by the homeowner on the fundraiser page.

“It was chaotic, but we ran downstairs, grabbed our pet turtle from the tank and were able to escape out our front door, just seconds ahead of the flames as they were moving from the back of the house towards the front,” the homeowner said. “Two or three minutes later, we were standing in our driveway wearing only what we wore to bed, holding an aquatic turtle, shivering and watching with shock and disbelief as the entire structure became engulfed.”

The fire spread so quickly that the stairs to the second floor were completely burned after the family escaped. Crews made entry on the first floor and Chief Ryan says one firefighter put their foot through a hole where the basement stairs were. Crews were then pulled from the structure and went to exterior operations only.

There were also reportedly four cats inside the house that did not make it out.

Delmar, Elsmere, Slingerlands, Selkirk, North Bethlehem and Onesquethaw Fire Departments assisted with on-scene and standby operations, along with Delmar-Bethlehem EMS, Albany County Paramedics and Bethlehem Police.

There were no injuries reported on the scene.

The home was a total loss except for the garage, which Chief Ryan says they were able to salvage some items for the family.

“There were a bunch of tools and things like that in the garage that were all saved,” he said. “There was also a hand-made wooden canoe and other things in there.”

The fire was knocked down fairly quickly and fire crews were packed up by 11:00 A.M., according to Chief Ryan.

The Bethlehem Police Department’s Fire Investigation Team was on the scene investigating the fire, but it does not appear suspicious, according to police. A cause of fire is still not being provided, however, Chief Ryan says the fire appears to have started in the back of the house, which is where the chicken coop was located.

A GoFundMe posted for the family can be found here:

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THOMAS MARRA Correspondent

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